Plan for your exercise goals
So ,you are getting into a position where doing a positive form of exercise ,that will work for you, is going to enhance your recovery.
The initial motivation to get active will only carry you so far along your chosen road.
New year, new me stuff, is rarely sustainable long term without putting in a simple structured plan to achieve your individual success.
How you plan for that success depends on a few factors, but whatever form of activity you choose, I would suggest that all goals have common threads that tie any plan together.
CHOOSE YOUR EXERCISE
Whatever form of exercise you choose , go for one you can physically do, which sounds obvious, but if you are wanting to have goals and aims in a particular area actually enjoying the activity you want to do is key.
Running , walking , swimming , gym, cycling are probably the most common exercises being considered. All have different plus points and negatives to consider before you set off buying potentially expensive gear.
Definatley worth having a budget for any gear , facilities costs that will be occurred, and stick to it . No point spending hundreds of pounds on a shiny bike if it bores you in the first month, equally, expensive fully inclusive gym membership when all you want to do is a Pilates class and have a short swim twice a week.
Look on line for your chosen activity, many reduced cost or taster sessions are available for you to go along to have a try before making a commitment.
Once you have chosen and are starting to enjoy your chosen activity consider the next stage ..
Having a couple of simple goals to aim towards will really keep the motivation high as the reality of starting to need to make progress towards a goal kicks in.
Have a specific date to aim towards. If it’s an organised event or a personal date you have chosen that you want to achieve a particular distance or time by doesn’t matter the important bit is that the focus of an end goal date will make it more likely to happen.
Have short ,medium and long term goals in place. What you consider short term could be what you want to do in the next week or month..
Medium term tends to be within two to three months . Long term could be up to a year or more away.
All goals should be structured around the S.M.A.R.T. nemonic..
What do you want to achieve specifically? What information you choose to specify is down to you, depending on the activity you are engaged in.
What measure of progress will show you are on track towards your specific goals?
Nothing will keep you more motivated than having a goal that is a challenge but not overwhelming. Keep the achievable element to your goals realistic.
Is the goal relevant to your aims and ambitions ?
The event date you have in mind will time in the goal you have set .
Consider the following quote when setting your goal plans :
“A goal should strike a balance between challenge and motivation.
If it’s too easy there is no challenge , too hard ,there is no motivation “
THE TRAINING DIARY
Recording the progress throughout your chosen activity journey is central to keeping motivation high and keeping you on track.
Use a diary to record the following : Date of activity, exercise type , what distance or time was achieved , thoughts both positive and negative on how things went .
Many free exercise apps are very good to help you keep a log of what you are doing. One I use to monitor my cycling activity is live with like minded souls across the world.You can get and give kudos to others after a ride or run has been posted . There is nothing like peer approval to keep you motivated.
THE THREE ELEMENTS
Any activity plan is going to require three elements to work .
You need to put time aside to focus on your chosen activity, be it every other day , twice a week or making it a daily routine.
Eating properly to help your body recover from the exercise and to be ready for your next session is vital.
Recuperation to allow recovery is sometimes harder to do than you might imagine. Don’t feel guilty about resting when you feel like you should be doing stuff. Consistent progress comes from resting and relaxation.
PLAN FOR SUCCESS
When I decided on cycling as my exercise of choice to aid my journey back to life following treatment I realised very quickly that having a plan was the only way it was going to work.
The long term goal I set was to do a century ride of one hundred miles, at a local sportive ride called The Great Nottinghamshire bike ride on June 23rd 2019.
My start point was September 2018 some nine months away at the time .
Using small progressive mileage steps was the first short term goal I used . I was capable of doing around a maximum of twenty miles.. I was riding three times a week at the time .
The short term goals moved into becoming medium term goals with increased mileages and frequency . So by January 2019 I was progressing to doing rides of 30-40 miles three times a week .
I also started to include regular gym sessions in my training to build strength and conditioning into the plan.
It was all recorded in the diary .. writing down the stats, as well as my thoughts, as time progressed made things feel more real as the event date loomed up.
On Sunday 23rd June I successfully completed my first century ride. It took me around nine hours of riding . Testament to both the power of the human spirit and the importance of a planned approach.
On the day I had a quote from Lance Armstrong taped onto my handlebars it read simply
“ Remember you can keep going long after you think you can’t “
Diagnosed with Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
Still turning the pedals over .
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