When you need to jump-start your training, setting new goals can give you a boost. In planning your New Year’s goals, consider choosing a more ambitious long-term target. As opposed to a lot of short cycles, setting a larger goal for the future allows you to piece together shorter training programs and small victories that build toward a big win. It is easy to lose motivation after completing a short-term goal, so you can avoid burn out or lapses in training by looking way ahead.
A possible long term goal could be training to run a marathon. Picking a race a year in advance allows you to divide your goal into parts. Try setting three month intervals, broken down even further into monthly and weekly training. If you are not a runner or haven’t been running regularly it is important to build a base. Spend the first three months logging three runs a week and working up to a long run of six miles. Create a training calendar to hold yourself accountable and to help maintain your daily work, meal, exercise, and social schedule.
During each three month quarter of your marathon training, you will want to increase your weekly mileage at a gradual, steady pace. This builds your endurance and allows your joints, bones, and muscles to adapt to the stress of the sport. Maintaining your training and adding some extra strength, conditioning, and stretching exercises along the way will prepare and give you confidence for race day. Evolve personal trainers can help your create a running program and develop strengthening exercises to improve your running technique.
Of course, a lot can happen over the course of a year. Here are some tips to keep you focused on the distant prize. Imagine yourself crossing the finish line once a week and how triumphant you feel. Post your training schedule on the fridge and attach your goals to the bathroom mirror. Enlist the support of you friends and family to cheer you on and hold you accountable for your plans. And finally, bounce back from injuries, set backs, or thoughts of giving up through cross-training (to vary your routine and keep it exciting), finding running buddies, downloading new music, aiming for eight hours a night of shut eye, and fueling your body with foods containing nutrients to keep you going.