We all know the feeling. In the days leading up to January 1, you decide to make a change; you want to exercise more, you want to eat healthier, you want to reach a fitness goal that has eluded you in past years. But, as life begins again, and work goes back for the new year, your best intentions fall by the wayside and you slip back into old routines. But not next year! 2020 will be different! You start planning all the ways that you're going to achieve this goal, and you become more and more motivated the more you think about how much your life is going to change when the new year rolls around. But as the days stretch into weeks in 2020, you remember how difficult it is to train when life gets in the way. You're back at work, and your colleague suggests you go to the new burger bar down the road for lunch. You go out one evening, and have one too many wines with dinner, which makes waking up for your training ride the next morning seem all the more difficult. Here are five ways that you can keep your triathlon goals on track through the new year without sacrificing all of the things you enjoyed during the festive season.
- Join a triathlon club - there's no better way to stay on track to achieving your New Year's resolutions than by working alongside like-minded individuals to reach your goal. No matter big or small, travelling to Kona or just getting off the couch, you'll have much more fun working towards it alongside mates who will be there to support you every step of the way. There's many different clubs across Queensland that cater to all skill levels and ages, so if you're ready to give it a go, find your local club here.
- Organise your friends to train with you - those long hours out on the bike are much easier when you've got your friends beside you! If your friends and family know about your goals, they're much more likely to support you, and you're much less likely to stray from your new routine! Try training as a pair or group a couple of times a week to make it more social, or if you prefer to hit the road solo, upload post-training sweaty selfies to Instagram and Facebook to keep your pals in the loop - their likes and comments will make the 4 am starts almost worth it! Remember to tag @triathlonqueensland so we can support you every step of the way!
- Keep it realistic - while completing an Ironman is a goal many of us strive for, it's best to set modest goals when starting out in the sport to avoid injury. Start by checking out local club events in your area for events that suit your needs (a full list of events coming up in Queensland can be found here); enticer triathlons are a great place to start, as they're quick, easy, and fun. Alternatively, if you prefer to take a solo approach to reaching your goals, start by doing small brick sessions (training sessions comprising of two or more of the three triathlon elements), and then gradually building up the distance until you're running a full race distance (this will also help you practice your transitions as well!).
- Plan ahead - while it's great that you're getting so excited to hit the road and train, it's vital that you have a plan or framework for what times you're going to train and what type of session you're going to do. Don't decide the morning of to go for a run if you've already been out for multiple running sessions already that week; if you train alone, make sure you have a concrete plan of what, where, and when you're going to train at least a week in advance, and if you train with a club, squad, or coach, make sure you look at which sessions you're going to attend ahead of time so you don't end up overloading one leg while neglecting another.
- Take time for yourself - even elite athletes don't train seven days a week! While it's great to train hard and reach your goals, it's just as important to give yourself time to decompress at the end of the week; training too hard can leave you feeling burned out and like even a good night's sleep won't leave you feeling well-rested. Whatever kind of event you're training for, it's important to listen to your body and take a break from training when you need to. The pool will be there when you're ready to go again, but for now, Netflix is calling your name!
We know it's tricky trying to stay on track once the New Year has started, but by planning ahead, surrounding yourself with people with like-minded goals, and taking time out to focus on you, you'll be crossing each and every finish line like a pro in no time!