We are three weeks into the New Year, which means that more than enough time has gone by for you break your New Year’s resolution. I recently asked the Get Ugly community what their triathlon resolutions were. There were some common themes. These strategies will get you back on track and ensure that you don’t find yourself making those same resolutions for 2017.
“Stay injury free!” “Take care of my body” “Build a solid foundation for 2017” “Do all my physio exercises!”
These were easily the most common resolutions tossed out there. Whether it was to simply stay injury-free or do all the physio exercises prescribed, it’s clear that people are sick and tired of being… sick and tired. After a year of injury in 2012, I vowed to try my best at staying on top of recovery, sleep, physio etc. but I will admit that even with a physiotherapist as a fiancé, it is still a serious struggle to get all those exercises done! I mean, come on – five minutes of stretching?! I’ve found the best way to stay on top of the exercises is to make yourself accountable – have a calendar or journal where you can record whether or not you completed the exercises on that day. I will generally do my rehab exercises first thing in the morning or just before bed and if the TV is on, during every commercial set, I try to get some exercises in. The other big components of staying injury-free are making sure you are getting adequate sleep and eating healthy. If you aren’t able to get the recommended hours of sleep, then make sure the hours you do get are good quality – that means no screen time for at least an hour before you sleep. Try not to eat anything large two hours before bed and try to start winding down from your busy day before you hit the hay. Don’t be afraid to take an extra day off every now and then! My coach Jasper Blake recently reminded me that the worst thing that will happen is you will get a little extra recovery.
“Trust and listen to my coach” “Do not over-train”
The best way to overcome the urge to over-train is think of your ultimate goal. When I feel like doing more than prescribed I remind myself “stick to the program 100%”. There is a reason that we all follow some sort of training plan — to take the thinking out of it for us. With the amount of training triathletes need to do, we are generally quite fatigued so throwing in a missed workout from two weeks ago on a recovery day totally makes sense! But it doesn’t. It is probably the worst thing to do (see resolution number 1). Up until this year, I am SO guilty of doing this. I worked off training plans that were laid out six weeks in advance. I was constantly moving workouts around, rescheduling them and doing workouts from weeks prior on recovery days. This year, I am taking things one day at a time and if something doesn’t go according to plan, I phone up the coach and get
him to readjust the schedule. You will get to a tough workout and be immediately thankful that you didn’t turn yesterday’s short recovery ride into a hammerfest.
“Qualifying for [insert race here]” “Set a PB”
This is more of a goal then a resolution but it was commonly brought up. To get there, it is important to know exactly how the qualification system works. I have found the best way to qualify for anything is not to look for races where you think the competition will be light. Look for races you know you can do well in. Choose a course that suits your strength or that you’re familiar with. You will show up to the start line with confidence rather than worrying about who may or may not show up in your age group.
“Change up distances” “Have more fun”
Whether it’s stepping up to a longer distance or improving your speed for a shorter distance, changing up distance is a very popular resolution. “Have fun” complements this one as well since often it comes in the form of variety and change. Sign up for events early and pick events that get you excited. There are enough events out there that you should be able to get amped on something. Whether it is a new course, new distance or a new format, find something that takes you out of your comfort zone and commit. Remember, it doesn’t matter what the event is — you will learn something every time you get on the start line. If your New Year’s resolution is to do an Ultraman, my advice is simple: stay crazy!
“Show Up Everyday”
A Get Ugly athlete posted this as his resolution and it really sat well with me. It has become my 2016 New Year’s resolution. It means to be present every day. Focus on each day individually and commit to those 24 hours. I believe the athlete said he learned this one from coach Jasper Blake and it wouldn’t surprise me since most of his B78 coaches (I’m looking at you, Steph Corker!) are the prime examples of people who do exactly this – show up every single day. Look for ways to keep things fun and positive. Find a group to keep you on track and motivated. Find a training partner to hold you accountable. Plan new running or cycling routes. Sign up for local races to create short-term goals. And most importantly, keep the rubber side down.
“Win Tier 3 Beer League Hockey” – Jasper Blake
Watch this every morning: