Tip #2 is another easy step to help you towards excellence – all you need is a pen and paper: Write Down Your Goals (Now!)
Do it now!
Written goals give you focus, makes you accountable (even to a sheet of paper!), are a visible and tangible representation of your goals and aspirations.
They say a goal not written down is just a daydream. It doesn’t take long. Whatever your goal, write it down now and commit to it.
“31 Easy Tips to Sporting Excellence” is designed to be a set of tips that are easy to implement and provide gains that well outweigh the time and cost of implementing them.
You can work harder or you can work smarter. Sometimes it is the small, simple things we do that result in great gains.
Tip #1 is a very easy introduction to developing habits that will lead to clear gains. Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning.
Make it the first thing you do when you wake up – OK, after you open your eyes and sit up! But then do it. Before going to sleep put a glass beside your bed, so you can grab and drink it when the alarm goes off.
Overnight, while asleep, you often sweat, you lose water breathing, your body is working to repair muscles and digest food. All this activity causes water loss and after 6-9 hours of not taking in any water your body is likely dehydrated to some extent.
Check the color of your pee in the morning to see the extent of the dehydration. An analogy would be to not drink water while at work. Not a drop. After 8 hours of work, you are going to be very dehydrated and dying for a drink.
If you train in the morning, starting the day dehydrated may affect your performance, so be sure to drink water with your pre-practice meal. Apart from the simple need to rehydrate, drinking water first thing can help wake your system up and continue muscle growth – so start hydrating from the get-go!
On top of consistent hard work – and the key word there is consistent – here are a few tools to increase the effectiveness of your training. It’s funny how far the little things go.
1) Write down your goals. It might be to finish the race, learn to swim, win your age group or qualify for Nationals. Whatever they are, they will help you get up in the early morning when it’s snowing, and keep you going when the pain seems unbearable, or you just can’t master that piece of technique. Remember why you are doing this, and stay determined to achieve those goals.
2) Learn from others. Train with people who are better athletes than you. Hire a coach or scour youtube for videos. Eat magazines for breakfast and apply the lessons to your training. It does not have to cost you a fortune, but you will learn loads and progress more while training with others. Be it their expertise or experience, or just pushing yourself while training with them. Make it fun by having a team.
3) Write a plan & stick to it. Decide on which days you will swim, bike, run and do core/gym work. Stick to it. Don’t give yourself reasons to skip a session. Don’t wait until tomorrow to do that work out. Make it a part of your routine. Trust me, it makes it all the more rewarding. And don’t forget those days off to enjoy doing nothing, eating junk food and staying up late. Enjoy the process!
4) Get stuck in! Don’tprocrastinate over the hard parts. Hate cycling? Jump on your bike on the weekend and go for long rides. Scared of the water? Dive on in. Get swimming lessons and gradually conquer that fear. Your strengths will take care of themselves (but don’t neglect them!). Turn your weaker events into solid ones and enjoy the process of conquering those challenges.
5) Enjoy rewards along the way. Take a day off. Have a glass of wine after a good workout. Enjoy that dessert and the lie-in. Go for a training camp at a dream location. Get a massage. Instead of a run have a game of soccer with your friends, or make a day at the beach with family after an open water swim. Keep yourself motivated, make training part of your life. I can’t emphasize it enough, enjoy the training as you work hard towards your goal. You’ve earned each and every reward.