Goal Setting for 2017

Goal Setting: Starting 2017 off with a Bang!

With a new year brings new challenges. New year resolutions are always met with the best intentions but often fall short within a few weeks of starting and unfortunately we fall back into the same old habits and routines. Whatever your 2017 goals may be, lets address a better way of attaining them instead of just talking about them only to be a distant memory once we roll into February.

Goal setting is term used often with athletes in preparation to achieve personal best/records. It’s the sequence they program their training sessions in order to ensure a podium finish. However, there is no reason it cant be used by everyone to help you drop a dress size, lose 10kgs or even run your first 5 km race. Instead of having a big goal hanging over your head, rather break the goal into small chunks or blocks which are far more attainable than having a deadline that can be daunting.

Lets look at an example of road runner wanting to shave off 10 minutes off their 10km run within a time frame of 16 weeks. If our runner’s current 10km best is 60 minutes their pace would be 6 min/km. By the end of 16 weeks, the runner needs to be running at 5min/km to finish the 10km in 50 minutes.  So let see how we can goal set this to be a more achievable goal:

Let say after every 4 weeks of training they will test their 10km to see how they are progressing. We can now break down the 10 minute improvement into 4 mini goals of 2 minutes and 30 second improvements after each month.

Thus after 4 weeks they need to run the 10kms in 57 minutes and 30 seconds, after 8 weeks – 55 minutes; 12 weeks – 52 min 30 sec and finally at the end of 16 weeks – 50 minutes.

Putting this into pacing terms, after 4 weeks the average pace must be 5:45min/km; 8 weeks – 5:30min/km; 12 weeks – 5:15min/km. Essentially every 4 weeks the average pace needs to improve by 15 seconds per kilometer to stay on target.

We can take this further by saying each week the average pace improvement needs to be just over 3 seconds to ensure we meet the target of 15 second improvements every 4 weeks. For some this will seem like a far easier target to aim for instead of just trying to run faster and to hope they reach their goal.

Having a measurable goal allows you to track your performance better allowing you to monitor your progress which in itself has a motivating element to keep your eye on the prize!

If we took weight loss and applied the same goal setting principles as above, trimming the fat becomes much more manageable. If you wanted to lose 10kgs and we set a realistic time to achieve this such as 6 months, we can goal set our weight loss into mini goals of 1 kg loss every 2,5 weeks.

10 kg loss X 2,5 weeks = 25 weeks (6 months and 1 week). This is a very achievable goal for anyone wanting to lose weight and because the weight loss is gradual, the likelihood of the weight staying off is more certain and in all likelihood you will hit your target before the 6 months are up!

In summary, if you continue the process of breaking down your main goal into smaller mini goals and give yourself a time line and NOT a deadline to achieve these smaller mini goals then you will have a far better chance of achieving the main goal. Additionally, through achieving these weekly or monthly mini goals, you will be motivated to continue as you will have become accustomed to the habit of winning which will keep you on track with your main objective!

Lastly, a top tip to help you stay on target to achieve your new year resolutions is to keep your goals visible. After writing down your goals and mini goals, place them in highly visible areas so that you see them everyday. These areas can be on the fridge, in your car, at your desk even as reminders on your phone. Having constant visual reminders will force you to action your goals instead of forgetting about them as soon as they were spoken. Keeping yourself accountable through these reminders will help you stay on track and not let your willpower slide into a mindset of “I’ll do it tomorrow”.

If you are looking to improve on your 2016 goals in 2017 then contact me at chris@race-fit.co.za or via twitter at @RaceFit_Gym to get more info on how to crush your 2017 goals.

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⛱ Therapy Thursday ⛱

Give your 👣 some ❤️ folks!

Spending long days in high heels or other work related shoes and can affect the function of the foot as a whole. Even the type of running shoe you use can be affecting your performance.

Performing some PREHAB exercises as shown in the video can go a long way to helping ensure that the toes and feet maintain proper function and prevent injuries.

Try these three exercises:
📎 big toe extension - move the big toe upwards while the rest of the toes don’t move
📎 perform the opposite of above - big toe doesn’t move while others are pulled back.
📎 perform both movements of both feet at same time AND independently.

🖊 NOTE the difference between both sets of toes. (My left foot doesn’t have the same control nor ROM as my right).

Look after your 👣 as they carry us around everywhere and as runners, foot health is important in ensuring injury free running.
Simple exercises like this which takes 5min of your time will assist in keeping your toes and feet in optimal health and potentially prevent injuries associated with running.
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✏️ Technique Tuesday ✏️

Today’s post is aimed at runners looking to improve their performance WITHOUT the need of gym equipment.

I have choose two body weight exercises that will target muscles of the lower extremity specially designed to help improve running strength.

The first video shows a SPLIT SQUAT movement. It doesn’t require a balance pad, a pillow or something soft can be used instead to protect the knee cap.

Target 🎯 muscles: Quads

Here are some tips to execute the movement correctly:

📌 start from the bottom up.
📌 both knees should be at ~90 degrees
📌 front foot weight is on the heel while back foot is through the ball of the foot.
📌 drive straight up as in a vertical movement
📌 movement ends when front knee is extended.
📌 ensure knee and ankle of front leg maintains a “straight” line. Avoid the knee buckling as you move up and down.
📌 same holds for back leg, watch that the leg doesn’t rotate inwards and that the ankle is facing the ceiling. (Those with limited ROM on ankle joint might struggle with this).

The second video shows a SINGLE LEG DEADLIFT (SLDL) movement.

Target 🎯 muscles: Hamstrings and glutes.

Here are some tips to execute the movement correctly:

📌 balance on one leg and place weight towards the back of the heel.
📌 the supporting knee ISN’T locked but has a slight bend (knee flexion)
📌lower the hands towards the balance pad
📌at the same time the “free” leg moves backwards being used as a cantilever or a “rudder”
📌hinge at the hip, maintaining a neutral spine and level pelvis.
📌 slowly lower your trunk to the point where your supporting leg allows before too much strain is placed on the hamstrings.
📌 slowly return to the starting point, maintaining good posture.
📌the whole movement is akin to a seesaw action.

Why I recommend these exercises is because they target muscles that are working repeatedly during the running action. Specifically, the SLDL is great to improve hamstring strength, hip ROM and ankle stability - much of which is ignored by some runners.

Perform 10 reps per leg and 3 sets in total.
After about 4 weeks you can increase the reps or sets to challenge the body more.

#RaceFitGym #runners #strength
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Words of wisdom from Bart Yasso out of the latest Runner's World Magazine South Africa on how to run forever!

1️⃣️ STRENGTH TRAIN - "supplemental work can reduce injury risk, improve running economy, and contribute to good running posture"
2️⃣️ HAVE A GO-TO WARM-UP - "before a run, do some dynamic movements that will help wake up the muscles."
3️⃣️ CROSS TRAIN - "cross-training can help increase cardiovascular fitness if you engage in forms that keep your heart rate up."
4️⃣️ GIVE YOURSELF THE BEST FUEL - "better foods leads to better athletic performance, and a higher quality of life."

At RaceFit we are a firm believer in all the above principles and our clients are encouraged to follow them closely. As much as consistent running makes you a better runner, don't be scared to look to alternative methods to help get that edge and to improve your performance.

#RaceFitGym #RunnersWorld #OMTOM
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💡Watt Bike Wednesday 💡

With about 4 weeks until the Cape Town Cycle Tour most of the roads are full of the roadies getting in the last of their big rides/races before the big day! However, during the week its tough to get the hours in, so sitting on a spinning bike or Wattbike for 30-45min and working on speed, hill or sprint work is a great supplement to the longer weekend rides.

Here is an example of some speed work (higher RPM) for those long flats where you can make up time.

📍10 sets of 1 minute ON followed by 1 minute OFF
📍set your cadence as 95-100RPM for the sprint WORK
📍set your RECOVERY cadence around 80RPM
📍give yourself a challenging yet attainable power output.
📍5 minute warm-up where you slowly increase the cadence
and power output (75-85RPM AND 150-200RPM)
📍5 minute cool down with cadence at 85RPM
📍Total time on bike = 30 minutes.

For my workout I tried to stay above 300W for the minute but depending on your level of fitness and strength you can increase or decrease the power output.

Remember that you need to be able to REPEAT these 1 minute efforts across 10 sets. DON'T try go too hard for the first few sets and then drop off as the REAL work begins. The goal of the interval training is to build up a base consistently throughout the WHOLE training session.

Enjoy some time in the pain cave so that when you on the bike you can throw some 🔨 🔨🔨 down!!

#RaceFitGym #CycleTour #PPA #WattBike
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👏 Motivation Monday 👏

Today I decided to test my 2000m Ergo test! Frankly, I hate this test as it really mentally pushes me to keep going through the so-called "pain cave". I haven't done the test in about 2 years so I was due a retest.

So for Motivational Monday, here are few findings from my test this morning.

🚩 Two years ago I scored the same result 7:20 - therefore I haven't gone backwards in performance. #winning
🚩According to Concept2, Inc. I rate in the 75th percentile for my age category (30-39) and for my weight division (78kgs).
🚩Also according to their VO2 max calculator my result gives me about a 60mL.kg.min-1 which is way above average 💪😁
🚩I performed this test alone which is even harder as you don't have anyone to pace or compete against. I'm a firm believer in the power of competition and how it brings the best out of individuals.
🚩Lastly, I'm not as unfit as I thought I was (my current achilles injury is keeping me out of running and therefore I'm losing CV fitness daily).

Ultimately, this test has MOTIVATED me to get below that 7 minute marker which is a real benchmark of "superior" CV endurance.

I'm not as unfit as I thought I was and that I need to keep up the strength work to help supplement that lack of CV training I've been able to do.

For more info on the 2000m ergo test, results and rankings that Concept2, Inc. has, go to their website, www.concept2.com for more info.

Happy Monday to you all! 💃🕺
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