I’m no Olympian. And that’s totally fine by me. Sure, I’d like to be as fit as I personally can be, but winning gold isn’t even on my radar. Of course, that doesn’t mean I won’t take the advice of someone who has either won a medal or is hoping to one day score the top prize. After all, taking tips from those who excel is one way of helping yourself to get ahead.
And so that said, here are some tips from Olympic Triathlete Sarah Haskins:
"Sometimes the hardest part is getting out the door. Once I start I am in the zone . . . oftentimes, once I get into the workout I'm OK."
(So true! There are some days I dread working out. But I just go anyways. And I usually finish feeling way better. Naturally, too, this does not always work. Sometimes, even if I start, it's just not gonna happen. That's okay though - there will always be off days. Just trying is at least an accomplishment in itself.)
"I use people and experiences as motivation. I think of great athletes like Lance Armstrong and Paula Radcliffe -- people who've been at the top time and time again."
(By reading fitness magazines or by browsing online, I'll often find plenty of inspiration. Even at the gym, or wherever you workout, there's likely to be plenty of people who are getting fit. You can easily feed off their energy to give you a boost - if they can do it, why not you too!)
"I would say to have fun with the training. That's what will keep you going, and you'll get all the health benefits from your sport."
(Fun is sooo crucial! Nothing will bust your enthusiasm faster than boredom. If you hate what you're doing, you're not going to do it. Keeping it fun can mean working out with a friend, taking a new class, adding new songs into your mix, finding a sport you enjoy etc.)
"Working my balance increases my ability to engage the small muscles in my lower legs. This is so important for injury prevention for running and other activities."
(You won't be doing much if you're injured, so prevention is key. And balance is a good thing to have, especially as you age. I know for sure that I want to be strong and vital as I get older. I want to remain independent and capable.)
Sarah’s Balance Move:
Stand on a balance pad on one foot. Tighten your abs.
Lift your leg and hold it for 10 seconds out to the front, as shown (1).
Without coming down, move your leg back, lowering your chest as close to horizontal as possible. Hold for 10 seconds (2).
Finally, lift your chest back up and move your leg to the side. Hold for 10 seconds (3). Repeat on the other leg.