After the initial motivation of New Years Resolutions, some of the best laid training plans and health goals may have already started to backslide.
The good thing is that every day brings a new opportunity to start again.
If you’re motivation to train and improve your fitness has been waning, here’s a few of my top tips to help you achieve your goals this year.
Write your goals down
What exactly are trying to achieve? It’s so important to know the end point and to be realistic. If you don’t know where you’re going, how are you going to get there!
Establish what your long-term goal is, then work backwards to create medium and short-term goals to help you reach it.
For example if your long-term goal is to compete in your first triathlon, a medium term goal could be being able to cycle, run or swim a set distance without stopping. A short term goal may be to do two training sessions per week to help you build up that distance incrementally over a few months.
Make sure all your goals are realistic though. When I began training for Ironman Wales initially I was all pumped up like yeaaahhh I’m gonna win this thing.
Then I took a bit of a reality check, remembered that running is NOT my strength and that a more realistic and achievable long term goal was to successfully finish Ironman Wales. Which I did!
Tell others what your goals are
Whether it’s to run a 5km, compete in a triathlon or ride in your first road race, tell other people your goals.
Sharing your goals with other people can help strengthen your intention and resolve to achieve it.
I mean, once you’ve told people they expect you to do it!
This could be by telling a friend or family member or by making a public announcement like I did back when I said I had entered Ironman Wales.
Join a cycling club, a triathlon club, a running club. Whatever sport floats your boat, join a group of like minded individuals to train with and keep you accountable.
Back when I decided to do my first triathlon, joining the local tri club was the best decision ever. I made some fantastic mates who gave me all the advice I needed for my first event – be it training or what kit to wear.
Having accountability buddies also really helps to motivate you in the sessions you’re more inclined to slack off.
While I was Ironman training it was running. It’s my weakest sport, and I don’t really enjoy it all that much.
I’d take it or leave it, so by getting to club running sessions I was more motivated, had more fun and was more inclined to get it done, which helped get me to my long term goal.
Record your efforts
I am probably slightly addicted to Strava (aren’t most cyclists??). But recording your training efforts in a way that you can review them and see your progress over time is incredibly motivating.
Knowing that my training buddies are going to check my training on Strava encourages me on solo training sessions not to slack off. Meaning I get better training results.
It is so inspiring to yourself (and others) to see how your strength and fitness increases over time as you put in the regular miles.
A few days ago I had a Facebook memory pop up of when I had run 3.5km for the first time on my own. At the time I couldn’t see myself EVER running a half marathon or marathon – but over time I got better and stronger and did crossed both of those things off my bucket list.
Anything is achievable if you believe in yourself and put in the work.
Whether its your training or making changes to your nutrition, true change doesn’t happen overnight.
It’s unrealistic to expect yourself to go from a 5km to a marathon overnight without training.
I’m mean, sure it’s possible, but chances are you could get injured or won’t enjoy it as much as you would have if you’d trained for it.
Being consistent and building up your strength, stamina and distance over time will support you in reaching your goals way better than trying to cram it all in at the last minute, risking injury or overtraining.
Trust me. From experience, you don’t want to overtrain!
Enjoying what you do is so incredibly important to help you stick with your training goals.
So have fun.
Train with people you like, inject a bit of silliness into a training session and mix up your training every now and again so you don’t get bored.
Let me know what your training goals for 2018 are (and if you want to know mine) in the comments below!