4 Golden Rules to Beginning Your Fitness Journey

January 3 marked the official day of my journey to completing my first triathlon this upcoming summer. If you are unfamiliar with the sport, it involves a swim followed by bike ride and finishing off with a run. There are various distances from 750 m to 3.8 km swim, 20 km to 180 km bike ride and 5 km to 42 km run. It's unbelievable what people are capable of. 

Learn how I got introduced to the sport and why I want to become a triathlete

To be honest, day 1 of training wasn't what I expected. Every Tuesday, I scheduled in my planner a running group with my boyfriend. I was so pumped for my first run, I even went out to purchase appropriate running gear for winter weather. Mid-day on Tuesday I received a text from my boyfriend "Run canceled, it's really icy." I was bummed. 

With unexpected weather conditions and freezing winter evenings, sometimes outdoor training is not feasible and you need to adapt. 

Instead of doing a run, my boyfriend and I did an indoor circuit - push-ups, sits ups and planks. To be honest, it might have been a smart way to ease into my training. 

Next up on the training schedule spin class!  

There is no finish line, so love the journey. 

4 Golden Rules for Beginning YOUR Fitness Journey

  1. Establish your "why" - When you established your goal of being more active was it based on the future? For example, I will workout to lose weight. I will workout to attract ___. External motivators creates lower motivation and self-control will only take you so far. The more you use self-control, the less you'll have it later on and you'll cave. Reframe your mind, let go of expectations and change your perspective. Think of positive nows: going to ____ class will lift mood, give me energy and boost confidence. How does moving your body serve  you?

  2. Schedule your training - Recently, I bought myself a Ban.do agenda to get organized, write out my goals and set an action plan. Once a week or every other week, I take 15 minutes out of my day to pencil in my appointments, weekly goals, dates with the bf, girlfriend brunches, business work sessions and fitness training. I'll even take the time of colour code my entries (I'm the creative type, can you tell?). If something comes up, I will initially try to organize the pending event for a new day to make sure I get in my training. 

  3. Find an accountability partner - There will be days when you will be motivated to work out and other days when you fail to get out of bed. It happens. Especially during the unpredictable and chilly winter days. Having someone depending on you to get moving will ease your fitness journey. If it wasn't for my boyfriend, I will admit, I probably would have skipped my workout all together. Find someone who pushes you, challenges you and keeps you focused. 

  4. Adapt to changes - Weather can be unpredictable and life happens. Period. Keep in mind when you plan your training that there will be days where your plans fall through. Throughout this journey, your commitment to your fitness goals will be challenged. Whatever you do, don't give up. Always have a back-up plan when things don't work out as planned. For example, if your spin class gets cancelled, call up a friend and go biking if the weather permits. If not, find a workout video on YouTube. The only person that can stop you from working out is you.