Updated: Aug 13, 2018
So, it’s the beginning of 2018/2019 UAE Triathlon Season. Lots of you will have thought about what races you want to do this year and what you want to achieve, but if you haven't WHY NOT!?
Anyways for those of you that have decided you’re ready to hit it head on or you’ve realised you’ve failed to start making the changes that you said you would make next week, next month and now is the time to begin…then this article is for you!
One of the biggest obstacles that people hit is because what they want to achieve requires them to make a dramatic change, that for a few weeks they’ll do well whilst motivation is high, but will get exhausted and crash one or two months later.
Below are some tips for you to help make your 2018/2019 season a success!
1. Realise that a new season is just another day – While it’s a convenient time because it’s a new season and therefore feels like a new beginning, placing too much emphasis on it being a brand-new start of the day your whole life is going to change is unrealistic. Think of the occasion more as a catalyst for change and a jumping-off point.
2. Pinpoint key points from your seasons goals – So review what you’re currently doing and what’s happening in your work and personal life to see whether it’s realistic. If so begin to plan short term targets to achieve long term goals. For many people, they find this the most difficult. Finding a good coach can help you massively with this, they will take your current lifestyle into consideration and with you, plan realistic and structure plans towards doing it. Small changes in the short term, have a positive effect in the long run. The key to this is planning…
3. Write down your goal(s) – Once you’ve decided on your goal, write them down somewhere where you’ll be able to see it daily. Writing it down creates a great connection between your thinking self and you’re doing self. Many studies have proven this can lead to you being more successful as the goal can appear more real than if you just think of it in your head.
4. Focus on one change at a time – Rather than trying to have several large changes underway all at once, break it down to small lots or focus on one goal at a time. So, triathletes for example, if you’ve not been doing anything at all lately, a positive change to begin with is 1 swim a week, 1 cycle/spin/turbo session a week and 1 run a week. Over a period, you can then look to increase this. It’s the same for seasoned athletes, over a period they’ll look to increase their distance or intensity over the course of their training blocks. It's unsustainable to be able to train at a really high volume and intensity all year round.
5.Using positivity or negativity – There are going to be times when we think ” I can’t be bothered training today” or “it’s too hot/dusty outside”. Switch these thoughts around to well “if I do this, I will be one step closer towards my goals” or “well it isn’t the best outside so I’ll look for a better alternative which I can do indoor”. Highlighting the benefit to you is far more motivating than focusing on the negatives.
6. Realising that failing or having a tough day is ok – If it’s worth it, it’s not always easy and there will be tumbles along the way. Sometimes failing will happen, this is ok, what is important is learning from the experience and putting things into place to try to avoid it happening again. It is known that at least 21 day of pursuing a new habit is needed to break any old habits that we have. For some people, it may take more than 21days, we’re all different and if it does take longer, then there is nothing wrong with this.
7.Get Some Support – Don’t be stubborn and think you must do this alone. Tell a friend, loved one or a coach whom you trust about your goal. They will then be able to support you and help keep you focused on your goal. Simple things even just like having a chat with at any time in the day when your struggling or having a training partner can be an enormous source of instant support.
8. Review your progress – Break your goal down into stages so you can track your progress. Looking back at what you’re doing after a couple of months will help to see if what you’re doing is working or not, and if not it gives you the opportunity to fix it. This could be even doing a little fitness test or time trial, in triathlon things like CSS Test, FTP, 5k Track Run, 1mile time trial etc. Minor adjustments such as swapping sessions to before work on certain days because you keep missing it in the evening could be the key to success.
9. Celebrate – Remember to celebrate your successes but make sure it’s appropriate!! So, for example if you’re resolution was to cut down on drinking alcohol, then clearly, it’s not the best idea to reward yourself with a ten plus pints or several bottles of wine. Instead look to treat yourself, look to get yourself you’ve been wanting for a while, new trainers or tickets to a gig. You deserve it!
10. Keep going! – Why stop now when you’ve done so well? Continue the job work you’ve done, revaluate and set yourself a new challenge of doing/achieving!
If you’re still unsure of what you want to do in 2018, I suggest using the smart goal which can be seen here on the following website https://www.projectsmart.co.uk/smart-goals.php
My aims and goals for 2018-2019 season are the following:
Gain my first international podium at ETU European Middle Distance Championships or Ironman 70.3 Bahrain/Dubai
Break 10 hours for a full distance Ironman
Continue to race and compete at local races across the UAE, and help those around to also.
I hope you all find this article useful, please feel free to comment to let me know your thoughts.
All the best for the new season, see you on the course!