My personal fitness story
Five months ago I realized I was getting lazy, re-adopted poor eating habits, and even stopped going to the gym altogether. It wasn’t until a co-worker (whom I appreciate dearly) jokingly pointed out that I had visibly gained weight. One could say the comment was the catalyst for me to decide that I needed to do something about it. Regardless, I’ve successfully lost over 25lbs to date and gained an even stronger appreciation for being healthy. With the result of the weight loss came many positive life experiences such as me competing in my first 113km (70.3 mi) run/bike Duathlon race.
As I run into friends and family I haven’t seen for long periods of time or even people I see everyday, I regularly receive compliments of how much leaner I look. Along with the amazing praise that I appreciate very much, many people always ask me “what’s your secret” or “what do you eat?”. The answer to this question is somewhat cliche and not the magic shortcut you want to hear. I’ve accomplished all my fitness goals from hard work and dedication. No, I haven’t been taking fat burner pills. I didn’t do the paleo diet. I did not eliminate my favorite past time that is drinking beer with friends. I was just determined to reach a goal and never strayed away from that path. That goal was to finish my first half distance duathlon race and for a bonus, to hopefully finish the race in under 6 hours. I can happily share with you that I completed the race in 5 hours 53 minutes and 23 seconds.
I could share with you my training regiment, tell you how many miles I’ve clocked every week, or what my nutritional habits were on a daily basis. But I’m not going to. I’d rather share the key to my successful weight loss. The crux to my fitness achievements would be motivation.
Set a challenging goal
I’ve always been intrigued by the Ironman triathlon series, but never bothered entertaining the idea of participating in one due to the fact that I’ve never really been a strong swimmer (meaning I can barely swim). One night I decided to Google upcoming triathlon races in my local area when I discovered Duathlon racing. Duathlon racing has the same swim/bike/run format as a triathlon, except the swim portion is substituted for an extra running leg. As I’ve always been a cyclist, I figured all I would have to do is work on my running and improve my conditioning.
My next challenge was choosing what distance I wanted to do for my first race. The full 226km (140mi) distance, 113km (70.3mi) half distance or the shorter (yet highly intense) Olympic distances. I’ve read somewhere that for your first race, you should pick something reasonable within your physical capabilities, but you should also pick something that some what scares you. Thus, I decided to choose the 113km half distance. The half duathlon distance consisted of a 2km (1.2mi) run, 90km (56 mi) bike, ending with a half marathon 21.1km (13.1mi) run.
I would suggest signing up for some sort of event whether it be a half marathon, triathlon, or even a 5k run. Have something to train towards to gives your workouts that much more purpose and another way to stay motivated. Crossing the finish line on race day will make all that work come together, mean something special, and can even be life changing.
Pick a fitness event that’s manageable to your capabilities but make sure it’s something challenging! Of course, give yourself ample time to prepare for such an event and while it’s important to be reasonable within your limits, at the same time don’t hold back!