Kickstart your fitnessReady to take that first step off the couch? Ironman Matt Trautman explains how.
1 Keep it consistent
Fitness doesn’t come overnight, although it may seem like you have friends who just look at a bicycle and they’re ready for a 100 mile race. Going out too hard the first week could lead to overuse injuries, not to mention the disappointment of not seeing those ‘dream’ results overnight. Ease into it and be consistent. “Don’t be fooled. It takes many months, if not years, to truly see the benefits of your training” says Trautman, who trained for more than six months before his first Ironman. “Remember, success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out.”
2 Get focused
In order to be consistent, you have to stay motivated. “The best way is to know why you’re training,” says Trautman. He advises setting yourself both short-term and long-term goals and then getting into a training routine. A training diary, or app, on which you record the details of all your sessions is also a great help. “Find a training partner, club or even a coach – these are all great ways to help get you out the door,” Trautman says.
3 Find support
Make sure you keep time for your friends and family, or better yet find a way to get them involved, even if it’s on the odd weekend. “Having the support of those close to you makes it that much more worthwhile and enjoyable,” says Trautman.
4 Change it up
Doing all your workouts at the same speed, intensity or distance is a recipe for failure – not only will it lead to physiological stagnation but become downright boring. “To get the most out of training, make sure you mix it up,” Trautman says. “If you only ever train in one mode then that’s where you’ll get comfortable and you’ll end up plateauing in that grey zone.”
5 Choose something you love
No point in trying to become a successful open water swimmer if the water freaks you out. Or you hate swimming. “Remember you are not defined as a person by your results,” warns Trautman, who has endeavoured to stay true to himself through all his competitive exploits. “So do it for yourself and for your own sense of self-achievement.”