As I sit here writing this Blog, I’m thinking of the week ahead of me. Tomorrow starts my first full week back at work. …And a return to my regular workout routine. For the past two weeks, over the Christmas Holidays, I went sledding with my kids, did some skating, a bit of walking and even threw in a couple of quickie, “blaster”, workouts. I’ve been able to maintain my fitness level somewhat, but, I’ve got some real goals for 2013 that won’t happen with the kind of schedule that I had over the last two weeks.
So… I’ll do what I do every year at this point. I am not a big believer in “Resolutions”. To me, resolutions are usually boring, uninspiring things that don’t really get you excited enough when the days get cold and dark and you just don’t want to stick with it. In fact, most people give up on their resolutions well before the end of January.
Instead of picking a resolution, I create a road map to take me to places I want to go. This is exactly what I do with every single client that I work with personally. Take a sheet of paper with the months of the year laid out on it and write in “peaking moments” that you’d like to achieve this year. Keep it simple. Start with the destination and then the plan to get there will take care of itself.
I am starting off the year with 5 main “peaks” to work towards.
–St. Patrick’s Day 5K Race (March). My personal best in the 5K is 20:30. That was 18 years ago and before knee surgery! This past year, I ran a 5K race in 23:45. This year I would like to break 23 minutes.
–Paris to Ancaster 60KM Bike Race (April). I’ve been looking at this for about 20 years! THIS is the year that I will finally take part along with a client or two of mine.
–Warrior Dash (July). This will be my third time doing the dash. It’s just too much fun to miss out on. I’ll make a goal, again, of not walking once throughout the course!
–Hockey Season (October). I haven’t played in a couple of years after a back injury (not hockey related) and a torn rotator cuff (from a hockey fall). I’ll prepare myself to be ready to play in October.
–Christmas 2013 (December). I love going INTO the holidays in great shape to avoid all of the stress that comes from holiday eating, partying, relaxing etc…
There you have it, my whole training can be broken down into 5 “phases”. Each phase gets broken down into 4 to 12 week training cycles where I will tweak and change how I train and how I eat to help achieve each peaking moment.
You’ll notice that I’ve picked activities to move TOWARDS. I am very goal- driven, so it works well for me. To focus on “getting lean” or losing weight does not motivate me at all. It works for others, just not for my personality. However, doing the training for each event will definitely keep me lean and keep my weight where it should be, so in the end it works just the same.
Some non- athletic peaking moments could be…
-Look great at a wedding or reunion
-Fitting back into a favourite pair of jeans
-A Doctor’s appointment where you are taken off of blood pressure meds….
Peaking moment No. 1 for me is 9 weeks away and I am not in “peak” shape or anywhere near it, so tomorrow I start 2 weeks of General Conditioning to get my body ready to start building towards the end goal. After “conditioning”, I’ll move onto muscle building… then endurance and finally metabolic (performance) training. Depending on the end goal and the time available, each phase length will be between 1 and 4 weeks.
The point is not to try to do everything right away. Too many people start the year off by going way to fast, way to soon. They burn out quickly and never really achieve anything, other than getting angry and depressed that they’ve failed AGAIN.
Start slowly. Be consistent …and build over time.
That’s the way to do it!
I know these feelings, except that I do my annual goal setting in September – anything to reduce the stress already in this time of year is better. I have the same ideas about events. I’m doing my second Tough Mudder in May, 2013 and am thinking about the GoRuck Challenge in August. Consistency is always the key, just like you said, Ernie! Keep at it!
Perfect Mark! Having those things on your calendar creates real momentum, eh? Just like planning for a trip, once it’s written out…. you just follow the steps.