Coach’s Corner

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The ONE New Year’s Resolution You Need to Make (and Keep)

New Year, New Decade, and chances are you have a boat load of Resolutions to tackle – everything from ‘Eating Clean’ to ‘Qualifying for the Boston Marathon.’ I want to give you one more – and have you push it right up to the top of your list:

<< INSPIRE SOMEONE TO START >>

You see, if you identify as an Athlete – and if you are reading this column, believe me, you do – you have people who look up to you. It doesn’t matter how fast you are – or how many races you have done – or what distance you have covered. People recognize that you are someone who gets stuff done (even when the going isn’t easy), and deep down they want to do the same. Heck, they probably have that little voice in their head that is telling them that they want to start, but they just don’t know how.

As representatives of our fitness communities, it’s our job to not only tell them that they CAN do it, but also show them how. Here are a few steps to help you inspire someone to get started:

Find someone in your circle that seems interested in starting (or restarting) a sport.

· Note that you can usually pick these people out because they will pepper you with information-seeking questions (“So…how long is a sprint distance triathlon?”).
· Ask them if they want to do X and keep the first step super approachable (“You want to run a half marathon? Awesome – start by doing one mile!”)

Suggest they go for 10-15 minutes of moving time to start, then gradually grow from here.
· For example: 1 minute walk/1 minute run for 1 mile total OR spin for 15 minutes at the gym
· They can add 2-5 minutes per session if they’re feeling good, and/or start to increase the intensity gradually

To track their progress and keep them motivated, use a fitness app:
· For example: Nike Run Club App is great for logging miles
· Reiterate that they do not need to share their run info publicly (yet! They may change their mind in the future.)

Offer to go sports-specific shopping with them:
· Go to a running store for a shoe fit
· Find a local bike shop to size up and price out a ride
· Pssst – gift cards to these places also make perfect presents

Shower them with praise, while gently guiding (pushing?!) them to do more
· Once they are training 2-3 times a week, suggest increasing by just 1 day
· Once they get up to 30-40 minutes of moving time per session, suggest a race or competition in the future and offer to do it with them

The coolest part about this Resolution is that you have the ability to change someone’s health (and life!) forever. Remember: We all start somewhere. And for many, it all begins with someone believing in YOU.

***Photo credit:

Marathon Pic Credit: @coldwaterpeople (Ben Foster)
Trail High 5 Pic: Credit @killertown (Mike Killion) 

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