It’s 6 weeks to Christmas and as you look back at 2016 you are wondering if 2017 will be the same? An endless round of taxi-ing kids, working too hard, juggling home priorities and preparing family meals? Not very glamourous hey? In fact, rather boring really. What’s in it for you? Well – if you are looking for motivation and to do something giving you bragging rights over friends and family, why don’t you consider a starter triathlon as your 2017 goal? In my article Why Why Why Do We Tri? I explore why triathlon is the fastest growing global participation sport and why it’s the sport for everyone – all shapes and sizes, backgrounds and abilities. If you were thinking that you might just take a break from exercise for all of December and January then think again. What could you be doing in this off-season to prepare yourself to embark on the greatest sporting adventure of your life in 2017?
Why you should be using December and January to prepare you for 2017
6-8 weeks off exercise of any kind can make starting anything in 2017 rather tricky. You are likely to emerge from the festive season sluggish, chubby and feeling even worse about yourself and signing up to do something amazing will be the last thing on your mind. You may well sign up for one of those New Year gym packages only to be scared off by the fierce instructor and lycra clad bodies early in February. Your chubby feeling of low self worth will see you enlisting for a ’30 day weight loss challenge’. Whilst ensuring the kilos drop off will it really lift your spirit and self esteem?
Instead picture using the next 2 months to build a base of fitness and strength from which to spring-board your elevation to Mum, triathlete and achiever. Here’s how!
9 steps to use December and January most effectively to prepare for your first triathlon.
- Negotiate 3-4 time periods per week in which you can focus on a beginner training programme. Try a few early mornings, a couple of hours at the weekend or arrange a reciprocal friends date once per week – you look after her kids and she looks after your kids once per week.
- Enlist an exercise buddy or buddies – someone to walk or run with, someone to cycle with (if you are used to cycling on the roads) and perhaps a friendly adult swim group.
- Focus on your weakest element and use this opportunity to brush up on skills. Perhaps you can only swim 50m? Then use one session per week in the local pool to increase this distance lap by lap every week. (For example – start at 50m, take 1 min break and try again for up to 20 mins. Next week try 100m, take 1 min break and repeat.)
If riding a bike is your weakness then try out an indoor bike centre or gym (but don’t go joining the gym please – this is just for a few weeks). Or borrow a bike and find a local field or pitch to try it out on.
- If you are not confident at running for more than a few minutes then you have nearly 8 weeks to increase the distance of your running taking breaks more and more infrequently. Look at our articles on HIIT’s so Easy – Start With Walking and Inspired to Get Outside for more inspiration.
- Aim to start the new season at your optimal weight for your size. And yes, I know it’s Christmas in-between! What this means in reality is be sensible NOW with what you eat and drink so that you get to Christmas as close as possible to your optimum. Then enjoy Christmas because, after all you have enjoyed all the extras and parties BUT hit the diet hard in January to get to February at your best possible weight, fat mass and lean muscle mass. There are sensible eating plans that can still facilitate weight loss whilst providing sufficient fuel for training and muscle building and Fit and Fabulous also offers a Christmas Waistline Mastery plan to master your waistline whilst still enjoying the Christmas goodies.
- Be social in your training! See if you can negotiate time with friends over the holiday season to mix it up and ensure you are enjoying yourself. A social run whilst talking can be as challenging as an interval session alone! Two at the pool might mean one of you can swim whilst the other minds the kids before you swap.
- Find a coach or change coach. If you are new to the sport then it’s time to recruit the support of a new coach who will challenge you in different ways and hold you accountable to your chosen goals. If you are need of some motivation or a push then inquire about our Focus Fit Coaching plans.
- Ask Santa for a new bike or a training watch! Start 2017 in high spirits with some sexy gear. No need to spend masses – your first bike can be quite basic and your training watch just needs to have some kind of stop-watch (though it can be cool to track your training with a GPS enabled watch and an app like Strava – we can tell you how)
- Set a goal that motivates and inspires you. If you are approaching 2017 with a feeling of deja-vu then shake it up a bit and set a new audacious yet inspirational goal. Stand up and be counted – you need to set your on goals – no one else will do them for you. Go on – let 2017 be your year.
You will know you spent your festive holiday season wisely when early in 2017 you sign up for your first ever triathlon, run for the bus without collapsing, cycle to the shops and back without stopping or swim a whole 10 laps in the pool without blowing up. You will have a fabulous foundation on which to plan a triathlon training plan and achieve your personal finish line with ease!
Good luck! Go on – start today!
If you need to know more about the sport of triathlon and have lots of silly questions that need answering then sign up to our of our Webinars in December to learn more. If you would like to do be shown a basic plan personalised to you to help you get started in December then have a look at our FESTIVE OFFER – for only $49.95 I can design you your very own plan to achieve a healthy and energetic start to 2017.
Liz is a personal lifestyle transformation and sports coach specialising in helping Mum’s re-define themselves. She brings an Oxford degree in Biochemistry, 20+ years business consulting, hundreds of triathlons, ocean swims, running races as well as representing Great Britain to her coaching. In 2016, Liz became an IronMum by transforming her food, attitudes and body to complete the toughest endurance triathlon.