By Jenn Walters for FitBottomedGirls.com
Goal-setting has incredible rewards. In fact, there’s really no better way to get to where you want to be (and get rewarded for it)! We chatted with Tara Zimliki, certified personal trainer and boot camp instructor, for her top tips on how to turn your fitness goals into reality.
Zimliki would know. She’s a crazy-awesome runner who has completed 15 marathons and hundreds of races worldwide. In fact, she completed the New York Marathon eight months pregnant and even ran 1 mile the day she gave birth to her first daughter and 3 miles the day she gave birth to her second daughter. Zimliki believes that taking on a personal fitness milestone is just as much a physical feat as it is a mental one. (Agreed!)
By setting mini-goals, she says you can make an overwhelming cliff seem a lot easier to climb. We couldn’t agree more! Read on for Zimliki’s tips to turning impossible fitness goals into possible fitness feats!
Impossible Fitness Goal #1: Break the Yo-Yo Diet Cycle
Easy Solution #1: Consult a good personal trainer. Sometimes we need a little one-on-one attention to get us to our goal weight. People are often unsuccessful because they try to fit into the mold of what they think they should be doing, instead of trying something tailored to personal preference, Zimliki says. Some of us may be turned off by the cost of personal trainers and health experts, but many people don’t realize these sessions don’t have to last forever.
Impossible Fitness Goal #2: Run Your First Marathon
Easy Solution #3: Start training early. Race day is the culmination of months of training and preparation, Zimliki says. However, don’t be discouraged by the commitment you are about to make. The web offers online workout-building devices and nutrition calculators to help you create a realistic training program. By creating a personalized-training guide, you know exactly how much time you need to get race-day ready. There are thousands of marathons each year, so don’t feel rushed to get this lofty goal checked off your list. You will make it happen in due time!
Impossible Fitness Goal #3: Lose Those Last Five to 10 Pounds
Easy Solution #2: Enter a weight-loss contest. The most important thing to do when getting rid of those last few unwanted pounds is to stay motivated, she says. What better way to do so than with a little competition? Join a weight-loss competition or start one with friends and family in order to get you through a diet slump. If there’s a prize involved, the cash incentive will give you that extra push to see this objective to the end. You’ll lose those nagging pounds easily — no contest!
Impossible Fitness Goal #4: Break a Personal Record
Easy Solution #4: Take a break. Competing in a 5K, 10K, marathon, or triathlon is a feat in itself, but breaking a previous race time is a glorious accomplishment, Zimliki says. A faster time is concrete proof of all your hard work and dedication, regardless of whether or not you won the race. However, the worst thing you can do before race day is to burn yourself out. So consider slowing down or taking a walk break. Runners at a 10-minute-mile pace tend to lose about 15 seconds when they walk for one minute. This means that for every minute run, the runner only has to run 5 seconds faster. This break also gives the runner time to recover and regain his or her strength. For veteran competitors, running at a slower pace, rather than walking, can have similar effects on your race time.
Impossible Fitness Goal #5: Bounce Back From an Injury or Hiatus
Easy Solution #5: Cross train. The fear of a repeat injury or being unable to complete a desired workout can be daunting, Zimliki says. In general, people need to find what is most comfortable for them. Biking or swimming can be great alternatives to running and weight-lifting, for example. Trying a new fitness program will not only force you to start slowly, but will also help keep your body sturdy when you decide to return to your normal workout.
Evaluate your goals in terms of the joy and fulfillment they will bring you once they are completed. No matter how big or small, each milestone will make you stronger in body and mind, Zimliki says. When beginning your next fitness task, keep these expert tips in mind and before you know it, you’ll be scaling Everest. Good luck!
What’s the biggest fitness feat that you’ve accomplished?