An ode to the worst month of the year.
Summer is pretty much in the books, your beach holidays are finished, you might have the kids going back to school or a busy season coming up at work. September can be a long month.
With the sand and sun in the rear view mirror, it’s so easy and almost understandable to forget your fitness goals and your personal goals. Lets face it, running and cycling in the rain is the worst. Getting off the sofa when rain and wind is battering the windows is definitely a challenge for all of us. You’re not alone in this.
For me September has always been a disruptive month in terms of my own personal development. As a student I knew at the end of the month, my body was going to take a battering and in the post university life I had little motivation as my next summer holidays were a long way away. I felt like I could skip out on workouts, running was a distant memory and why even eat healthy when I don’t have to?
This year is different (this is the part were you start taking notes). I’ve used September as a point in the year to sit back, reassess and set new goals. Focusing more on motivating myself and preparing for the future. Instead of kick starting, I'm just going to keep trucking.
Stepping up the intensity of my workouts has been the first box to tick. Just this morning I was considering taking an impromptu rest day, just because of the glorious Manchester weather. I fought the temptation and jogged through the rain for some kettlebells and yoga.
Putting in the hard yards this time of the year and keeping on track will only help you long term. Letting yourself go for a period of time can sometimes be beneficial, but doing it each year and swapping the pizza for the bike every January isn’t healthy or smart. Working yourself into a frenzy in the gym in January and the early portion of the year to get poolside or beech ready can be avoided. Staying the course and putting in consistent work will give you better results and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is hugely beneficial long term.
It seems silly to state the obvious, but its true. We’re all guilty of forgetting this.
What I’m slowly trying to say is, yes we all deserve time off. But doing it for huge portions of the year and getting back on the horse in January isn’t the best way of going about it. Maintain the lifestyle and focus on your positive habits. Get a new waterproof for your road running or cycling. Pick out gym shoes you don’t mind getting wet.
And in terms of goal setting. Whether it is a new PB on a long run or ride, being beach ready or having a great season in the sport you focus on. Begin to set short term achievable goals, instead of just thinking bigger picture. Long term goals are hard to achieve we all know this, so your short term ones should act as the foundation.
- Extra 10 minutes on the treadmill each week. Easy.
- Extra couple reps with a weight your already comfortable with. Easy.
- Taking the longer route cycling home one day a week. Easy.
Simple, achievable goals to maintain and slowly develop yourself are key to the foundation to your goals. Consider the long term, but focus on the short term. How can I get better each day? That should always be the focus. Remember, this life we live is a marathon and not a sprint. Cliché I know, but I honestly don’t care. Because it’s true. Be sure to enjoy it, enjoy those well deserved cocktails, just make sure you deserve it. One thing I’ve found over many years of competing in a variety of sports, nothing tastes better than that beer at the finish line.
Why? Because I deserve it. And so do you. Your amazing and can do amazing things.
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Just please make sure you patch up when you get that well deserved beer, because the only thing better than a well deserved beer is ten well deserved beers.