You know, after my Ironman finish last year, I went through a period of what I like to call “I no like training!” I didn’t have a specific race goal, and my body was wiped out from 25 weeks of prep leading up to the Louisville Ironman. I watched other athletes, age groupers all the way up to pro’s race, and immediately jump back into training and get ready within weeks for another big race. My mind could not fathom it at the time. I was, tired, hungry (beyond hungry), my body ached, my mind ached and all I wanted to do was rest. Is it normal? Was I alone in this feeling to not do anything for the next undetermined amount of time?
I don’t think so. I didn’t do any “scientific research” on this. No polls were taken. I talked to a few athletes, some were like me, some not. It boiled down to I had pushed myself to my biggest fitness achievement to date and never thought beyond that day. I had no plan, no real goals, no reason to get back on my bike or lace up my running shoes anytime soon.
Two months went by. I was in the gym but not really working towards any endurance goals or mutli-sport achievements. I kept telling myself I was working on next year’s goals…what goals…none that I had set apparently!!
So that’s the point! Goals! We need them. Big and small. They help us move forward. I read a quote recently that said, “Slow progress is still progress!” So true. I needed goals, even if it was to maintain my level of race fitness I worked very hard to achieve. A race would have been nice to have on the horizon as well. I know the body can do seriously remarkable things so pushing it to the limits does not scare me. But what I discovered was I needed to cement a reason for the push in my mind. I need benchmarks, level of achievements, to keep me moving forward…even if it was slow.
So like I talk about in my book, “Assume the Victory!”, set goals (yes I wrote a book about setting goals and failed to set goals…), put something on the horizon that you want to achieve. Now here I will go on the beaten path and say, avoid weight goals. What???!!! Yes, avoid weight goals. Here’s why.
Weight goals cause us to become singularly focused on a number. Yes, the scale can be a barometer as to how well you are doing in your pursuit of losing fat, but it can also derail us from looking at our overall health and fitness. So that being said, set fitness goals, I promise you that if you align your training and diet…your weight goals will manifest. You may even surprise yourself as to how much “your” ideal weight number changes as you become more fit and healthy. I’m not a doctor, I just know years of chasing my scale got me absolutely nowhere. It was only when I focused on my training, diet, and overall fitness goals did I begin to achieve my weight goals.
So if you are a runner, work on becoming the best runner you can be. A cyclist? Get saddle time in and maximize all those cool cycling metrics we love to track. Swimmer? Are you efficient in the water? Work on those skills. I am telling you these are the areas we need to focus on and the beach body will manifest. But…but…you have to be consistent. My buddy Scott is the most consistent training partner I have right now. He rarely misses the gym, his intensity level is pegged at 11, and he eats right (most of the time). Yea, he is predisposed to being lean and muscular but without the consistency he would not have the gains he has seen in the last 20 months. Point being, it is hard work and you have to put the time in.
Set some goals and get busy getting healthy and get your gym on! It’s never too late to start!!!!
Previously Fat Guy