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Achieving your fitness goal

A friend recently sent me a panicked message telling me that a charity she supports had accepted her application for a place in the London Marathon.  I can understand this feeling of intimidation and impossibility; 26.2 miles is a long way and seems even longer when as a task it’s to be completed on foot.

It made me think back to when I accidentally entering my first marathon.  My previous experience of this distance was watching a friend run the London Marathon and thinking what a tortuous thing it looked.  Who would want to put themselves through it?  Well the answer to that question turned out to be me, and I had given myself just over three months to go from part-time jogger to marathon runner.

Amazingly it happened.  I had great support from a local running club and I had a schedule.  And slowly but surely I found myself running further and faster than I had ever run before.  Here’s what I learnt along the way.

Setting your goal

If you set yourself a fitness goal and work towards it consistently, you will get there and it will lead to experiences that you might not even be able to imagine right now.

First set yourself a goal: to run a marathon, to lose weight, to meet the 10,000 steps target on your Fitbit, to lift weights, to walk a mile.  Whatever it is, do a double check to make sure you want to do it.  If you’re not sure ask yourself “why?” a couple of times until you get there.

Second, put in place a plan or training schedule and maybe work with a club, a coach or a personal trainer. If you have a deadline such as a date for a race, work backwards from this when you start planning.  If you don’t have a date, work forwards to establish a target date.  Either way you will have a point in the future when you can pause, review, and see how far you’ve come.

Time for another reality check: life carries on.  You might have events, work, travel, all sorts of things that get in the way.  Don’t stress it, but make sure the balance is right.  If there’s too much life, you may have to re-prioritise or re-focus your goal.  Maybe you don’t want it enough, or it’s just too big for right now.

My third piece of advice: hold yourself accountable.  Either to yourself – write your training sessions on your calendar, in your diary, plug reminders into your phone – or to other people – tell them about your goal, tell them when you’re going to do a training session and expect them to ask about it.

And then off you go!

Monitoring your progress

I’d go easy on the monitoring. You might not notice much progress day-to-day or even week-to-week, but check in after a month and see how you’re getting on.  When you reach your target date, almost certainly you won’t feel “ready” for whatever your challenge is, but I promise if you’ve followed the steps above you absolutely will be.  And you’ll have had a lot of fun along the way.

Tanya Boardman

Tanya is a marathon runner, sports massage therapist, space geek and coach who inspires people to do things they thought they never could.  In particular, she works with people who feel stuck in their successful lives, looking to find some oomph.

For inspiration and to get in touch visit doingnotdreaminglife.wordpress.com or follow on Facebook or @tanyaboardman on Twitter.

Behaviour change in exercise

I’m very proud to announce that I’ve been awarded the honour and privilege of becoming a PTA Global Ambassador.  What does this mean?  Put simply, Movéo Fitness is living by and promoting to others PTA Global’s vision, core values and mission:

To passionately enhance the Health and Fitness Industry, creating success through enjoyment, education, and leadership for the facility, trainer, and client.

A coming together of the best minds in the health and fitness industry, PTA Global aspires to be the forerunner in behaviour-based exercise programming.  They want to show fitness professionals how to physically match and emotionally attach exercise programmes to their client’s goals, training style, existing ability and motivation.

Through PTAG’s online Behaviour Change in Exercise (BCE) Credential, as a qualified personal trainer you can learn the skills and gain access to PTAG’s tools to meet your clients where they are and take them where they want to go.  And more importantly, you can do this in a way that fits with who your client is and what makes them tick.  Watch this video – it says it all.

As Rodney Corn of PTA Global puts it perfectly, Behaviour Change in Exercise reminds us that as personal trainers “we’re exercising a person or writing a programme for a person, and that person is a human being not just a human body”.  The science only takes you so far.

20% off through Movéo Fitness

And now you have the opportunity to learn these career-changing skills at a discount!  A 20% discount to the normal price of US$299 means you only pay US$239.20, a saving of US$59.80.  Simply quote SAVINBCE when you book online here.

Having completed the course myself, I can’t stress enough how valuable the learning experience has been and how much my clients have benefitted.  Grab this chance while you can to learn how to build successful and lasting relationships with your clients, and ensure they keep coming back for more!

Deborah Savin-Curnier

Motivation to exercise

Finding the motivation to exercise

“I may regret not doing a workout, but I’ll never regret having done it.”

This phrase came to me at the end of a workout that for some reason I’d struggled to get to.  I don’t remember what obstacles had got in my way, or what I might have had to give up to be there, but I do remember feeling really pleased that I’d pushed myself to make it.  The phrase would become a mantra that I’d call on when motivation was lacking.  And it has never been more valuable than one Sunday morning – Cape Town in June.

Several weeks earlier I’d come across the K-Way Table Mountain 16km race (https://kwayvob.co.za/our-races/table-mountain), a stunning run from Constantia Nek up the Jeep Track to the top of the mountain, round Woodhead Reservoir and back.  I’d hiked it several times and was curious to know if I could run it.  There was only one way to find out… my entry form was sent off immediately and I was in!

Constantia Nek Jeep TrailI decided the best approach would be to run the course at least once a week and I stuck to this plan, always managing to pick the perfect weather conditions and calling on my mantra to get me up onto the trail – the stunning views my reward for getting to the top.

Then I woke on the morning of the race to gusty winds, heavy rain and Table Mountain barely visible.  Suddenly it didn’t feel like such a good idea.  Would the race be cancelled?  Would the trail be closed?

Wrapped up warm and waterproof I went to collect my number at 7.15am, still dark, still raining, still very unappealing. “We don’t have you on the list of runners” the marshal declared having checked her list a second and third time.  Here was my way out…  “Never mind, there’s always next year” was ready to come out of my mouth when she passed me a clipboard and suggested I complete another form.

It was in that moment I heard my mantra over and over in my head, pushing me to fill out the form for a second time.  I knew I’d be disappointed in myself if I didn’t run.   But then no matter how challenging and uncomfortable the race was going to be, I wouldn’t regret taking part.  Thirty minutes later I was standing at the start line really not knowing what to expect as announcements were made about how to reduce the risk of hypothermia!

It was a tough ascent.  The wind at times so strong I was running to stay still, the rain turning to sleet at the top.  To my surprise I wasn’t cold and as the sleet prickled my face I found myself enjoying the sensation, smiling at the complete contrast this was to all my training runs.

With layers on my watch was buried, and in any case I’d decided early on in the race to ignore it.  This wasn’t going to be a performance run.  It was going to be the sort of run you survive, a run that proves you’re tough and ever so slightly crazy!

Gradually I passed all my personal landmarks and suddenly I was on my way down, the wind behind me making it wonderfully easy.  The end was in sight – metaphorically speaking!

As the trail flattened out towards the bottom I pushed hard for the last kilometre.  Imagine my surprise when I crossed the line three seconds inside my personal best, incredibly happy to have run it and totally oblivious to how wet I actually was.

As well as giving me a real sense of achievement, this experience served as a powerful reminder of how effective my mantra is – to me at least.  It has taught me something about myself I can use to find motivation; motivation to exercise, to get out there and make the transition from doubting I can do it to knowing I have it in me.  Once that first step has been made, I can look forward to the wonderful feeling exercising brings me, a feeling that stays with me for the rest of the day.

Deborah Savin-Curnier