As the weather warms up and the Christmas break-ups begin, staying fit and active over the holidays period can prove a challenge to even the most driven athlete.
While it is tempting to overindulge during the next few weeks, for those of us who wish to stay fit and keep off any unwanted kilos, staying motivated towards a goal is key to surviving the holiday season in reasonable shape.
Rachel Allworth, who initially began running for better physical health, formed a running group called ‘Rachel’s Runners’ and says the key to staying motivated is all about goal setting.
“Before I became a runner, I often thought to myself – wouldn’t it be nice to announce to the household “Oh, I’m just heading out for a run”? I never really thought I would see that day, mainly because I just didn’t know where to start.”
“Fast forward to these past five years and I could not tell you how many times I have now announced those words to my family. So, how did I get here? The simple answer is all about goal setting”
Rachel said she used a three-step plan to stay on track and set her sights on her next goal:
Make a plan
Let’s use the obvious here and say your aim is to learn to run a consistent 5km distance non-stop. Write down the ‘steps’ you will need to get you there – run by run, day by day, week by week – and nut out what you have to do to work towards the end. A calendar is useful here, as is a running coach.
Follow the plan
Having a plan is one thing, but actually following it is another. Look at your plan at the beginning of each new week and slot your weekly ‘steps’ into your diary. Work them into and around the rest of your life and then tick them off once they are done.
Make yourself accountable
Sometimes we find it hard to follow the plan by ourselves, so the next thing to do is to make yourself accountable. Tell a friend, your partner or family member about your plan and your goal, and ask them to help you on your journey towards reaching it. Hopefully they are supportive and help you, but if not, don’t lose sight of your dream, find another accountability partner and don’t give up until you get there!
So where to from here?
Look up and find your closest parkrun. parkrun Australia operate free weekly timed runs all across the country. Just pre-register and give it a go!
If you’re looking for more of a tailored approach, why not seek out your local running club, squad or group? They are sure to keep you motivated, assist with setting attainable yet challenging goals and will open your eyes up to whole new world of running, happiness and fitness. Training and social groups such as Rachel’s Runners provide a network of liked-minded others to show people, that with the right support, anyone can achieve their goals.