We are very fortunate in Canada to have a vibrant and ever-growing community of women who love sports. So Trisport created a venue just for women to “go at their own pace”. And we added an extra touch partnering with the Canadian Cancer Society to celebrate our sisters, mothers, daughters and friends who fought cancer. Then to further enhance the experience, we created a “survivor” category for our athletes who had triumphed over cancer themselves! We thought we created a race but instead we created a party! And you get to be part of that party.
And like any good party, preparation and planning are the keys to success. The process can be more fulfilling than the actual day. Now is the time to focus on process and putting one foot in front of the other. Let’s make exercise and training part of your routine. Here are some tips to embrace the process:
* just start! On days where you don’t want to exercise for whatever reason, give yourself 10 minutes and if you are really unhappy then stop and come home. But most times, you will be so happy running or biking or swimming that you will keep on going.
* set out your exercise clothes the night before so that you can literally wake up and get started. We want to minimize decision fatigue especially early in the morning.
* prepare healthy post exercise food options in advance so there is no thinking required! That may include making oatmeal the night before, batch cooking healthy meals or having fresh washed fruit at the ready. My favourite batch cooking staples are black beans, rice, baked tofu (ginger, teriyaki sauce and tofu), sweet potatoes (just salt and pepper), baked potatoes, black bean brownies and pumpkin loaf. I always have a few apples on hand and freshly washed grapes.
* reward yourself with a new piece of clothing – maybe a new pair of running shorts or shoes or running hat or cycling shorts.
* add supplements to your diet if you fear you are missing any key nutrients. My go-to supplements are fish oil which is a natural anti-inflammatory (and good for hair and nails and skin) along with a high quality anti-oxidant. I also take supplements to boost my immune system. You can email me through the website form if you want to know specifics.
* forgive yourself if you miss a training session or if you fall off of the healthy eating wagon. Reset and carry on. Our goal is “progress over perfection”. There is only one way to be perfect but thousands of ways to be great!! Be great!
* recruit a friend to join you for some of your sessions. And yes, you can do core, strength and ride your trainer by Zoom. If you have a treadmill, you can do that virtually with a friend as well. All winter, I have been riding inside and I FaceTime with my friend Jody several times each week. (PS you will meet at Subaru Iron Girl Canada at registration!) Yes, training will create friendships that will last a lifetime.
* keep a journal. This is my favourite recommendation. I have kept a training diary for over 30 years but I also include the happenings of the day. I write down how I feel and special events of the day. I also journal any aches and pains so that I can trace my healing and my mindset during that healing.
* each month, I suggest creating a special journal entry highlighting the following:
* 3 things I am most proud of
* 3 things I am grateful for
* Lessons learned
* Goals for next training block (both internal and external)
* and when you get to the finish line at Subaru Iron Girl Canada (or your next race), add in “goals for your next race” to your journal.
* and lastly, be your own biggest fan! We will be cheering for you but you MUST love yourself! How? Create an asset list today listing all of the things you have going for you. For example: I am a good problem solver. I never quit. I am educated. etc .. Dedicate some time to this task. This is your “brag book” and you will find that you are less defeated than you may think!
As always, finish what you start and do it with heart! Lisa Bentley