Many of us use the beginning of the new year as a starting point for changes in habit that we hope will make us better athletes (or people in general). This time of year can provide a good natural mental line in the sand and we often specifically feel the need to make changes after a little bit of over-indulgence over the holidays!
If giving up booze is one of your Resolutions this year, then definitely read Andy's blog on why giving alcohol up could do wonders for your performance. If you're still deciding what to focus on this year to improve your performance - whether you consider it a New Year's Resolution or not - take a look at how some of Precision Hydration's elite athletes are planning to up their game in 2018 for some inspiration...
Henri Schoeman, Olympic Bronze medal triathlete (Rio 2016)
My New Years resolution is pretty simple and straightforward. Live a year with no regrets and make the most of every opportunity.
Brianne Theisen-Eaton, Olympic Bronze medal heptathlete (Rio 2016)
I don't really do New Years Resolutions because, honestly, I never seem to keep them! I will typically do things that make me more productive at the beginning of the year though, with the hopes that it will create new, healthy habits. Things like...
- No Netflix!
- 15 minutes of meditation each morning
- Turning my cell phone/computer/tv off after 8pm
- Reading more
- Disconnecting my email from my phone/watch
- Spending more time with Ashton (Brianne's Double Olympic Gold winning husband) by planning activities and date nights consistently
I find this gets me into a really productive rhythm at the beginning of the year and that helps me get a lot of work done as well as have extra time to just enjoy myself, family and friends.
Then by the end of the year it all seems to fade a bit, but at least for 4-6 months I got a lot done, lol. Importantly, I also don't punish myself if I don't stick with this. I just know that I tried my hardest. So I'll probably do this again this year...
Want more insight from a couple with 3 Olympic medals between them? Brianne and Ashton talked Sweat Testing, training schedules and life after success at the highest level with us.
Jan Bakelants, pro cyclist for Team AG2R La Mondiale and former Yellow Jersey holder at the Tour de France.
For next year I have one big wish or resolution... to get back to 100% after my big crash in Lombardy last year. My back is getting better, but to compete at the highest level I still need it to improve a lot!
Alongside this, in the next few months I will have to be more disciplined with food and drinks. If I put on several kilos, my comeback will only be harder!
Robbie Briton, World 24-hour Championships Bronze Medalist
I’ve started these already, as I didn’t want to wait for Jan 1st...
1. Core, core, core: 2017 saw an improvement on the zero core work I did, but in 2018 I would like to go even further with daily workouts, only 20 minutes each, working on specific imbalances. I’m going to do some more climbing/bouldering in 2018, but the outdoor stuff will have to wait for the snow to melt.
2. Write more. Writing is something I enjoy a lot, and it’s part of how I make a living, but there's so much more to write about if I can make the time for it! I’m doing a Masters in Performance Coaching at the moment and we have two modules starting this month, so that takes up a fair bit of time, but the subject material also provides a lot of inspiration and it’s nice to take some of the academic work and try and get it to the masses, like you guys do for hydration...
3. “The same thing we do every year Pinky, Get faster, Stronger and try to take over the world...”
We Sweat Tested Robbie at UTMB in Chamonix a few years back and chatted to him about everything from his running technique to the best place he's ever run.
Brad Williams, Ironman 70.3 Chungju winner (2016)
My New Year's Resolution is the same as always...swim faster. It's been the same for the last 8 years, I just keep chipping away at it ;)
Along with that, cutting down on my sugar intake is another one, I have a massive sweet tooth...
Read what it takes to win an Ironman 70.3 in one of our regular chats with Brad.
Ida Nilsson, 2x Transvulcania Ultra winner, 2nd at Mont Blanc Marathon 2017.
I usually don't do New Years Resolutions to be honest. If there's something specific I want to train for, or improve I'll start doing that, any point at the year. But, of course, always my main goal for the year is to stay healthy and injury free!
I would advise people to let go of old thought-patterns and habits that don't suit them to make room for new experiences!
For an insight into what your training week has to look like to get on the podium in some of the world's top ultra running races, read our interview with Ida from last summer.
Tracy Moseley, Downhill Mountain Bike World Champion
One general Resolution for me this year is to try and keep a weekend (or a couple of days) each month free to be able to do some spontaneous non-work related activities with my husband James so we can spend some quality time together and explore new places. That’s not easy for someone who has every day planned out in advance normally!
Training wise, my Resolution is to get back into a good healthy shape after having my first baby in March! It’s hard to set goals with such a big change in life ahead, but I’d like to enjoy a healthy balance of being a mum and a sportsperson...
Kate Comber, 3rd at Ironman Maastricht and Ironman Wales 2017
1. Get stronger
Nothing is more frustrating than niggles bringing a stop to a good training block!
When you're pushing your body day in, day out, the smallest of muscle imbalances can quickly turn into a painful problem. Over the past few years of training for Ironman races, I have experienced the importance of putting time aside for strength and conditioning work.
Every year I start with the best of intentions, however it's easy to lose interest and for core work to slip to the bottom of the list when finding time to fit in training. This winter I have discovered how subbing in new exercises and using different training aids can help hold my interest and challenge my body more. My aim is to up this as I build up my cycling and running into next season, so that I can throw myself into training more confident that my body will hold out!
2. Spend more time with family
When trying to fit in all that training, it always feels easier to just base ourselves at home at the weekends. Recent events have reminded me how important it is to make time for family. To me, my family are a great support network that I can rely on during tougher times. In 2018 I vow to make more time for visiting family and, if I don't have time to travel, to always stay in touch.
3. Mix it up
When I first discovered triathlon at university, it was just one of the sports I had began to take an interest in. I was able to use the fitness I gained through running and cycling to take on new challenges such as mountain biking, ski touring, climbing and mountaineering.
I found a group of likeminded people and together we took on our first Alpine summits, went on multi-day ski tours and took on multi-pitch climbs, all of which have left me with incredible memories.
As I found myself dedicating more of my time to triathlon, all other hobbies began to peter out. Over the past week I have been in Boulder Colorado and I have realised how much I miss the variety I had in my sporting life before, so looking forward to the coming year I have decided to develop my fitness whilst making sure that I keep doing all the sports that I love. From simply taking my running off-road and making the effort to travel to mountain biking centres, to spending more of my holidays back in the mountains.
Kate recently told us how she came 3rd at Ironman Maastricht. It's well worth a read as she shares her full training plan...
Ruth Purbrook, 3rd at Ironman World Championships, Kona in 25-29 Age Group.
Training related resolutions...
- Swim more with other - and better - swimmers (I still have a very long way to go with my swimming...)
- Do at least one gym session a week and don’t skip it!
- Get more aero
- Be better at eating unprocessed food ~90% of the time
- Spend more time with my family and my gorgeous new nephew
Ruth won the last ever Ironman 70.3 Exmoor in 2017. We chatted to her about that race and her fantastic rise in the sport over the last 12 months or so.
Sophie Bubb, Ironman UK Amateur Champion 2016, 9th at Ironman Western Australia 2017
With my Kona qualification sorted for 2018 already (after winning my age-group at IM Western Australia in December), my main NY Resolution is to get super-organised this year to reduce the impact competing has on family life and to start giving back to the sport of triathlon, which has been so good to me in recent years.
My competitive goals are as high as ever but I want to mix this with some coaching too and also to explore some new events...
Team PH did well at Ironman Lanzarote in 2017, with 3 women in the top 22. Sophie was amongst them, coming 2nd in her AG and 12th overall. We got loads of interesting tips on how to compete at the highest level in triathlon when we sat down with Sophie, Ruth Purbrook and Kate Comber.
Sean Rice, Former Surfski World Champion
I would like to learn how to handstand. I have no idea why that seems appealing to me, but it would be neat to just whip that out as a party trick!
I’ll leave cutting chocolate and all that stuff for another year. The chocolate over the UK is just too good...
Maggie Hogan, US Olympian Kayaker at Rio 2016
Crank up the mileage! After competing at the 2016 Olympics in the Canoe Sprint, I’ve taken a step back from full-time training and it’s time to ramp up again.
Last season’s races extended late into the year and since November I’ve been cross-training to keep in touch with my fitness. Come January, it’s time to crank up the miles again and lay the groundwork for another great season of racing...
Ben and Rhian Martin, the UK's #1 ranked Swimrun Mixed team, racing as Team Precision Hydration in 2018.
1. Continue with quality not quantity sessions - every session must have a specific purpose and goal.
2. Don’t be afraid to have a rest day if we're starting to feel ill or a niggle.
3. Rhian: Try and beat Ben at a 20 x 100 lactate threshold set in the pool!
Ben and Rhian are currently ranked #1 Mixed Team in the OTILLO Swimrun World Rankings. They shared the secrets behind their success with us recently.
Grace Min, pro tennis player, currently ranked 197th in the world.
One of the things I’d like to improve for 2018 is to schedule more 2-3 week training blocks within the season. It’ll be a good opportunity to improve on the fitness base I built up this preseason and also a good way to refresh myself mentally between tournaments.
Another more general Resolution is to keep a yearly planner! I usually put all my appointments/tournament schedule/reminders in my phone. For 2018, I want to become less dependent on it and actually write down my schedule for a change.
Stu Anderson, Team Freespeed age-group triathlete
Just one thing...
‘No Excuses’. It’s too easy to make excuses because things don’t always work out as planned. Better to accept things and move on, to re-focus without dwelling on what could have been...
Sophie Power, 2nd at Grand 2 Grand Ultra in 2015
Mine's a bit strange this year...
I'm currently 5 months pregnant but still aiming to be on the UTMB start line in August 2018! Much like with an injury, life is now a constant assessment of what I can do and what is a bit too much (hill work for starters...).
My Resolution is therefore to focus on all those things that get pushed aside when training volumes peak but really improve us as athletes in the long term - such as flexibility and strength work - instead of being disappointed by measuring things in the short term such as distance/speed.
I want to make sure that I keep to a good baseline condition for a quick return to training after giving birth. Oh, and to still be able to knock out a couple of pull ups at the end of pregnancy just to freak out the meatheads in the gym... : )
Gemma Marshal, 2nd place at National Middle Distance Champs – The Grafman
My New Year's Resolution is to commit to a strength training plan with at least 2 sessions a week. I’d like to say 3, but I’m being realistic! My strongest season was a few years ago where I’d be in the gym 3-4 times a week in addition to my other training, since then I’ve been a bit lazy with it and have really noticed the drop in power and strength on the bike.
A more general Resolution is to stop buying bike parts in secret and then telling my husband I’ve had them for ages when he notices...
Hopefully these Resolutions inspire you to make the changes you need to perform at your best and achieve your goals this year. If you need help staying hydrated whilst you're doing that, just get in touch.