Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Are you ready to commit?

As a personal trainer and triathlon coach I have eager people who come to me with a goal.  In each case their goals is different and unique.  As a coach I am there to support them and help them achieve their goal.  Ultimately their success or failure will be their responsibility.  In most cases I have to slow them down because they want to jump into training too quickly and want to workout everyday right from the start.

When I meet with people most times they are way too optimistic and overzealous in their goals.  By the end of our meeting we will adjust and modify their plan for future success.  I make sure they know they have to commit to a big change in their lifestyle especially if they want to train for a triathlon.  Setting smaller goals to ultimately get to a larger goal is a great plan for success.

If you are considering a triathlon and you are starting from the ground (meaning you don’t know how to swim, don’t have a bike and don’t run) then you have a huge task ahead of you, even if it is ONLY a sprint.  People underestimate what a sprint triathlon entails. There is a lot to consider and you really need to ask yourself if you are ready to commit to that.  What are you committing too?  Lets start with some of what you will need:

Wetsuit (depending on the water)
Swim gear (fins, kick board, pull buoy, goggles, swim cap, swim suit)
Running shoe
Bike shoes
Bike helmet
Bike/tri shorts
Access to a lap pool and/or gym membership

The following are not necessary but nice to have:
Garmin or heart rate monitor
Bike trainer and trainer wheel

Now lets talk about the time commitment that training involves.  If you are starting with very little or no fitness then you should give yourself 6 months to a year to do a sprint triathlon.  The wide range of time is because it depends on how quickly you catch on to the various disciplines.  Swimming is one of the most technical sports to learn.  As an adult it is much more difficult and some people take longer than others. The time you will need to train for your event may be dependent on how quickly you learn to swim.  Starting out your training may only be 3-5 hours a week but each week it will gradually increase with intermittent recovery weeks added into the schedule.  On average you will need to workout 8-12 hours a week.  Are you able to commit?

Lets talk about the person who wants to exercise more and lose weight not necessarily training for an event.  I encounter so many people that want to lose weight, body fat and tone muscles.  They think getting a trainer will get them to their goal and while a trainer will help you and hold you accountable they will not be with you all the time.  People want to lose weight but they don’t want to give up alcohol, sugar, and fat.  They think working out more will miraculously help them lose weight, meanwhile they are eating badly.  In most cases just working out will not do it, but that is not to say there are not people that workout and eat badly and still look good.  There are those few that can pull that off.  Diet is the most important factor in how you look, exercise is the icing on the cake!  So if you want to lose weight are you ready to commit?  Do you want to get lean?  Are you willing to give up alcohol, cheese, sugar, and processed foods? If you’re not willing to give that up then you are not willing to commit. 

Be realistic with your goals and what you are willing to commit to. Be realistic in what you will be able to do for the rest of your life and make your changes part of your lifestyle so that they will last forever!

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