Friday 30 September 2016

'The goal is important, but not as important as the person you become on the journey...'

You should be recovered after your Vhi A Lust for Life run, says trainer John O'Regan, which means it's perfect timing to focus on your next goal

Published 08/03/2016 | 02:30

A runner makes his way around the first lap of the 10k. Photo: Caroline Quinn
A runner makes his way around the first lap of the 10k. Photo: Caroline Quinn

It is important to give yourself time to recover after a race or strenuous exercise, and by the time you read this article you will have finished the A Lust for Life 5k or 10k and should be sufficiently recovered.

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You should be happy with yourself knowing that you have successfully completed the event but remember that this is not your free pass to a life of health and fitness.

You might be wondering 'what now?' Or that thought might not have even entered your mind and subconsciously you can easily fall back into your old lifestyle and allow those windows of opportunity to close.

This is one of the reasons why we stop, as not having a future goal to focus on removes the urgency to start back exercising. We then let go of something that we have worked hard to get and just when we start to benefit from the health and fitness gains we give up.

Why is this? The training leading up to the event was made easier because we had something to focus on and there was a definite date for when it was to happen. We followed a plan and journeyed towards our goal, always knowing where we were going. This took away from having to always think about what to do, because we always knew in advance and that simplified the doing.

What we need now is another goal and a simple suggestion would be a 5k or 10k race that is four to eight weeks away.

To make it more interesting, you could set yourself an additional goal of maybe beating your recent time, or if you did the 5k, you could try increase to 10k.

You can follow the same training plan and use your result to help work out your training paces or, for variety, you could follow Siobhan Byrne and David Gillick's plan in Health & Living leading up to the Vhi Women's Mini Marathon.

Most importantly, the goal needs to be something that interests you and excites you enough to want to do the training. Success will come from choosing the right challenges.

Monitor your progress along the way and at times when you feel like you are pushing a rock up a hill, make sure to stop and remember how far you've come. The goal is important, but not as important as the person you become while you journey towards it. With fitness you need to use it or you lose it, so don't let go of all those weeks of training and keep the momentum going.

Health & Living

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