2016 minus a month….

Most of us start off each New Year with a list of goals and a few resolutions. By mid Feb research has found most of the resolutions have gone astray. Triathletes, Runners, Swimmers and Cyclists are usually a little bit more dedicated to achieving goals so will often last longer than the average person but by the time we are hitting the end of November it is pretty likely most of the goals have been ticked off as achieved (or got battered through injury) and many of the resolutions have become habits or fallen by the wayside.

But there is no need to write off our performance as something that can wait till next year when there is still a month to go.

Setting a goal is a great way to make sure you stay on track to achieve something. Is there a sporting goal you can hit before the end of the year? A Santa ride, a boxing day Parkrun or perhaps something a little bit different. Here are four ideas to keep you training, properly prepared for 2016 and able to work off the Christmas party drinks and the Christmas day dinner.

If running is your thing how about aiming for a advent running streak. This does not involve running in nothing but tinsel (though if that floats your boat…) but running every day of advert. 25 runs in 25 days. Check out Advent Running http://www.adventrunning.com/ or their facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/adventrunning/ it is a closed group so you have to ask to join but once on there you can mix with over 1600 members based all over the world, many of whom post daily pictures of the sights seen on that day’s run. They offer a daily spot prize for the best photo, video or written description of the day’s run and hold events throughout the month. With everyone trying to run at least 5k a day by Christmas Day it is a great motivator not to skip a day when it is cold and windy or the work Christmas party got a bit messier than planned.

Pick your favourite sport. Pick a number goal that means something to you. Your age? The number of goals your football or Rugby team has scored this season? Your house number (if high enough) and dedicate the month to achieving that amount of miles by the end of it. Tick them off as you get there with the aim being you get there early and don’t find yourself hunting for an open pool on December 31st trying to hit the target!

Create a piece of festive Strava art. It is rare for the internet to lack in anything (except niceness occasionally!) but there is very little Christmas focused Strava art. So get out there, compete with your friends. And make something a little more polished than this attempt!

Learn a mental skill that you know will help you be a better athlete next year and practice it on every training session you do till December 31st. With four weeks to practice it will be embedded by the time you kick off 2016’s training and you’ll be starting off the year already on top of your game. Learning how to use self–talk effectively, or learning how to spin negative talk into a positive is a great one to try. Info here.

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