Saturday, September 27, 2008

Staying Motivated And On Track With Your Fitness Goals

I'm back from a great trip to Philly and ready to blog again!
It’s pretty easy to hit a “rut” in your training. If you’re “tired,” “sore” or whatever; excuses abound when it comes to trying to establish a plan or routine.

Whether you’re training to lose some weight or do a marathon, I’ll share some of the strategies I’ve used to keep myself on plan –

Set a goal and plan ahead (and be flexible)

You really need to establish a goal that allows you to benchmark your progress. For example, you can set out to lose 10 pounds in 30 days, run in a 5K race or participate in a triathlon. Setting a goal that YOU wish to attain is important, because only YOU will see to it that you reach your desired goal.

Set a training plan to reach your goal. I plan my training out anywhere from three weeks to three months out, depending on my goal. Make sure to be flexible with your training plan because we all have other issues that arise. For instance, if you’re traveling for a few days where you know you will not have access to a pool for scheduled swimming workouts, make accommodations for those situations in your plans.

Don’t bite off more than you can chew

This is a mistake far too many people make. If you’re a beginner just starting a running program because you were motivated by the Olympics, don’t set your goals toward a marathon just yet. There are dozens of plans available via the Internet for beginner 5K races. Also, remember that if you’re over 40 and overweight, it’s important to consult your physician as to what type of physical activities would be good for you.

Find a workout buddy

To me, there’s nothing more motivating to show up for a workout than knowing a person or group of people are waiting on me. When you agree to meet someone for a run or bike ride, your chances just increased by about 50 percent that you will be there.

Join a club

By joining a fitness center or running/biking/swimming group, you will network with like-minded individuals who will “keep you on task.” The YMCA is great because it’s economical and you can find one nearly everywhere. Take this a step further by participating in classes at a fitness center. Spinning, yoga, aerobics, pilates or whatever. Not only are classes a great way to meet “workout buddies,” but they are also good for cross training.

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