Friday 5 January 2018

New Year, New Challenge?

Training for your first triathlon

Something has changed within me over the last few years, there was a point not so very long ago where my evenings would consist of Netflix and a great deal of junk food and fizzy pop. I didn't spare a single thought for the calories that I was consuming on a daily basis, nor did I burden myself with the drastic lack of exercise.

None of it concerned me, I didn't care. But you see... That is what went on to change. Suddenly I was eating better and getting out of those sedentary foundations that I had built. I was going to the gym, I was trying classes, heck I even found myself trying my hand at Crossfit and Pole Dancing! 

I was throwing caution to the wind and completely throwing myself out of the comfort zone, because I have to be honest here, before I decided to stop caring about what everyone thought, the idea of going along to the gym or anything new (that I would have to attempt alone) filled me with dread, and I would always bottle it before I had chance to go.

With a New Year in sight I have started thinking about how I can throw myself out there once again, something new and fun that will be sure to get my juices flowing. I love anything really that will provide me with a good workout and get my heart thumping, and that's when I started thinking about triathlon bikes!

Now that might sound crazy for someone who hasn't actually ridden a bicycle in years, but I have been considering a new bike for a while (Yes I am aware that there is a massive difference between a typical bike ride and a triathlon!).

As with anything though, if you don't try how will you ever know if you can do it?

Training for your first triathlon 
(Or training in general!)

So you have made a decision but how do you stick to it?

- Tell people - You are more likely to stick to something if you talk about it, tell your friends and family and their support is going to push you forward to the next step. You might even find yourself a training partner if you're lucky!

- Set a goal - Think about what you want to achieve long term and short term, set goals and milestones. I believe that it is always very important to acknowledge the smaller steps too, because they are all steps in the right direction right? Celebrate all of it, give yourself a pat on the back with every momentum in the right direction.

- It's ok to go slow - Don't beat yourself up about what you can't do yet and focus on everything that you can do. Use those smaller goals to put your best foot (or wheel in this case!) forward, because they are going to amount to some of your bigger goals later on. Give yourself time to build up in your training, if you are like I was (I believe a coach potato is the term?), then you aren't just going to get up and go and run a 5k are you!? You have to set a steady pace and build on the foundations that you have already, and make them stronger.

- Sign up! - Yup you read that right! I always find that I am more determined and dedicated if I have a goal with a expiration date. Sign up for a sprint or triathlon that is a few months away (6-8 weeks!), it is sure to light a fire in your gut, and that upcoming date in your calendar is going to be the most amazing motivation! It is going to help you train and it is also going to provide you with valuable experience that you will need moving forward.  

- Follow a beginner's training plan - There are some great tips online, have a look and see what works for you.

- Start as you mean to go on - As with anything in life, consistency is the key, if you strive for success and put in the graft, you will never be disappointed.

- Eat good food - I always believe that the basis of any training plan is what you are fueling your body with. There is always confusion around diet plans and what not, but I believe in eating good wholesome foods (and never cutting anything out!) is the best practice. I always point people in the general direction of The Bodycoach because he has some fantastic recipes that are sure to hit the spot!

- The bike - You don't need to go out and spend a bomb on a bike, if you already have a bike then you can always start training with that, or if you are in the market for a new one, then buy the best you can afford. 

I keep coming back to cycling, whether or not I end up trying my first triathlon or not is another thing... but cycling with the dog could be a fantastic challenge for the new year (and a great way to tire the pup out!).

I will most definitely be getting back into my gym routine (the festive period always seems to appear and knock my motivation from beneath me!), but when the New Year rolls around, I will be back with my motivation ready for another fun year!

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