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Training Goals How to Determine Them, How to Stick With Them

Stephanie Atwood

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How do you decide how to train and what to train for? In the end I think you must go with what works for you in the three components of a successful, lifelong, fitness program.

  1. Mental - Are you motivated right now to accomplish something big in the world of exercise? Or, is this a time when other priorities are limiting your emotional ability to commit to a lofty goal?
  2. Physical - Are you in a place physically where you can succeed with your goal? For example, if you've never run a marathon, is qualifying for Boston a reasonable goal? Probably not. However, finishing a marathon may be very possible. These are some of the physical components to consider.
  3. Logistical - Do you have the time and ability to organize your life around your training goal?

Obviously things change with time but, if these three elements are not considered, you may be doing yourself a big disservice. You want to set yourself up for the best chance of success possible, right? Putting the three elements above into the equation increases the possibility for accomplishing what you set out to do.

Another factor that makes a huge difference in your training and overall success is support. Build a network around you of people and things that support your goals. I was thinking about this in terms of groups because different groups work for different people. Different coaches work for different people too.

In the end, that “ethereal, magical" feeling that makes you feel good about yourself and about the situation in which you are training can make as much difference as whatever program you've committed to.

As we've seen recently in the Olympics, the “magic" really comes from within. However, as with the Olympics, the infrastructure was well planned and orchestrated. The three elements listed above can help you find the “magic" within by taking care of the details on the outside.

I encourage you to seek excellence in fitness. If, at this time, it means a maintenance program, please do this with pride and perfection. If it means to strive for an improved time or increased distance, make the commitment to do this whole-heartedly, with conviction. Short term goals and long term goals can give us peak periods of performance and allow us some down time to recover. Both are important for lifetime success in training and achieving fitness as a lifestyle.

Strive for the GOLD in yourself!

Are you looking for group training or personal training online?

Stephanie Atwood coaches a women's walk and run fitness group along with a co-ed running team in the Bay Area. She also offers online personal training.

Atwood is certified as a personal trainer and long distance running coach thru AAAI/ISM and RRCA. She also consults on sports nutrition. Stephanie's undergraduate degree was in “experiential education" and her M. A. iis n cross cultural business communications. She is writing a book on women's fitness.

Ms. Atwood is a Master's Runner and runs or walks almost every day. “When we're moving, we're getting fit. It doesn't matter how fast we're doing it!"

Ms. Atwood is author of the weekly fitness E-zine The Weekly Pep Talk at and hosts the blog - Atwood hosts a training site with free training schedules fro 5K's thru marathons. Contact her through the sites listed.


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