January is an odd month, after the high from Christmas it can be quite a low month. Low on funds, low on effort and low on dedication to stick to those New year’s resolutions you made one the first. Myself included in this!

This makes it an odd month to decide to set your yearly goals. Talking to a friend recently I asked what were her new year resolutions she said “oh I don’t set them in January, I know what I want to achieve in the big picture and then every other month I re-assess” I can see the benefit in this, it adds in an important part to goal setting, which most people don’t think of and that is the analysis of those goals on a frequent basis. It makes your goals/New year resolutions more tangible by setting mile stones you can celebrate and know you’re on/off track.

This is why I like to have a plan of how I am going to get from A to B and then on to C. It’s sensible really you wouldn’t start driving your car without planning the journey. The same comes for setting fitness goals you need to plan and assess that plan as you go. So I have been thinking of ways in which I can help you with your fitness goals and make sure my own go to plan at the same time!

Your goals need to be SMART. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timed.  It is alright setting out to ‘get fitter’ for the New Year but what does that look like? How is it going to feel when you get there? How will you know, what stepping stones will you go through on the way to your goal of ‘fitter’.

One thing I have found over my years of training is if you don’t know if your improving you tend to ‘flat line’ going out thinking you’re working hard only to find out when it actually matters that you probably could of pushed harder in training. So it is important to set yourself markers so you will know if it’s going well or if you need to sit yourself down and have a chat! This can also work the other way of course sometimes your pushing so hard towards your goal you forget that rest is the valuable time when your body recovers, re-energises and gets stronger. As a woman I think it’s sometimes harder to properly rest. Or at least that how it seems in my house, my rest days involve house work and a number of other things which mean I don’t always properly rest. A way to test how well you’re recovering is with your heart rate (HR) measuring your resting HR in the mornings will give an indication over training. The best way is to measure when you’re lying down 5 mins after waking, record for 5 days if you see an increase over 2 beats per min you could be heading towards over training. Give yourself a day off.

Heart rate is a great, cost effective way to measure your fitness and create controlled training sessions. By measuring your heart rate you can work out your HR zones and from there you can develop your training in these specific zones.

So my top tips for your 2017 goals are:

  1. Set SMART goals
  2. Measure your progress whether that is in a diary or using Garmin/Strava
  3. Take time to properly rest
  4. Spend time running/riding/walking with friends
  5. Create milestones to work towards
  6. Drink plenty of water

I’d love to hear your goals for 2017 please comment below.

Good luck for 2017 x