Hands up if you've ever finished a 12-week fitness challenge or completed a half marathon ... and subsequently lost all motivation to keep exercising because you're so spent. Yeah, it's a real thing. Here's how Surf Ironwoman Courtney Hancock has kept training fresh.
Having begun her career at just 17, Courtney has stood on nearly every podium she’s competed for. She’s won three Ironwoman Series and nearly 25 individual and team events at the Australian Titles. Whoa. But, for the veteran competitor in her 13th year in the sport, staying motivated can actually be surprisingly challenging at times.
“When I was 18, it was very new and fresh,” she recalls. “But when I was 26, it hit me: I had achieved everything that I wanted to.”
Courtney, now 30, spent a year or so training less and lacking motivation … and as a result lost her Ironwoman title from the previous year. It was definitely a major wake-up call.
“That was the year I needed to have,” she says. “I don’t regret it because I picked myself up and have adapted how I train.”
Since then, this legend has won two Coolangatta Golds, competing with women up to 10 years younger.
Impressive, huh? Borrow some of her drive by acing her pro tips:
1. Prioritise what’s on your plate for more energy. “When your body is changing ... you get to a stage where you really have to focus on your nutrition. I can’t eat what I did when I was in my early 20s!”
2. Practise self-care. “I look after myself a lot better now. I get a massage every week; I’ll have a nap during the day and I stretch a lot more. If I feel exhausted then I’ll sleep in.”
3. Appreciate your body. “I can only really compete for a couple more years because of my age, so every time I get to race I just appreciate that I am an athlete. Knowing that my body can’t go forever is very motivating for me.”