With the track season well under way, how do you maintain motivation throughout the summer? Dr Josephine Perry offers some advice

The athletics season can be long and the training can be hard. The most effective way to keep up your motivation is to set the right goals at the start of the season.

Setting an overarching goal that genuinely excites you will keep you focused on the training. From this big goal everything else can flow.

You can then break it down into performance goals. These may be build-up races you want to do well in, specific times or distances you want to hit in training or a new skill you will need to learn to hit your overarching goal.

With these in place you should see progression throughout the season and feel the momentum building up as you follow the processes, achieve your performances and head towards the overall goal.

Planning for the things that might derail you can be beneficial. The list is limitless but the main ones to think about could include: injury, poor decision-making by an event official, seeing negative comments about yourself on social media, feeling ill, falling over mid-event or getting disqualified. With each scenario you then work out ways to stop this happening and ways you would deal it if it did happen.

1. Break down your performance goals into processes you will follow and incorporate into your training plan.

2. Reflect on every race or competition and write down an equal number of good and improvable behaviours and incorporate these into your training.

3. Think of the key things which could derail you and impact your motivation, then work on a plan to stop them happening.

» Dr Josephine Perry is a sports psychologist at performanceinmind.co.uk

» See future editions of Athletics Weekly magazine for more from our ‘on the couch’ column