With the new year around the corner, it’s never too early (or late) to carve out your fitness goals, whether it’s running a 5K or completing a marathon.
Section by Somer Tejwani
For amateur athletes, weekend warriors and even those new to working out, there’s a whole new world of apps and fitness devices to help achieve your goals, whether it’s running a few miles or a few hundred. But, there’s always one thing that money can’t buy: motivation. A personal fitness coach, however, will keep you on track, help interpret fitness data and set a training plan for the year ahead.
A renaissance man of sorts, endurance athlete and coach Shawn D’Aurelio of SD Endurance Sports in Laguna does just that. He started his career in BMX racing before moving on to mountain biking, cyclocross, road racing and triathlons, but, now, the elite-level racer competes on KHS-Maxxis p/b Jakroo, one of the best amateur teams around, and works at Dana Point’s Bike Religion. For more than a decade, Shawn has worked in just about every facet of the fitness industry and holds four national personal training certifications. He has trained U.S. Masters swimmers, golf pros, triathletes, runners and cyclists to help improve postural imbalances, goal setting, performance testing and achieving weight classes. Here, the athlete shares how to meet your fitness goals for 2015.
Laguna Beach Magazine: As we enter the new year, many people have fitness goals like running a marathon or cycling a 100K. Mentally, how can they prepare?
Shawn D’Aurelio: You must decide first if it’s something you truly want. Reading or watching motivational books during your time of focus always helps. Also, stay positive and surround yourself [with] … motivated people.
LBM: What nutrition advice do you have for someone trying to reach these goals?
SD: Changing your eating habits takes a lot of discipline but will impact you more than just about anything else you will do. Look to make small changes that will make the biggest differences. For example, if you drink juice each morning, cut that out. Instead of a Coke or calorie-loaded beverage at lunch, switch to a zero-calorie option. If you find yourself eating out six times a week, cut that to two to three times, and drink lots of water.
LBM: For years, you’ve coached people to reach their goals—any advice to help people prepare physically for the challenge?
SD: If you have the funds, hire a qualified trainer or coach … [to] motivate you and help you stay the course. A good coach will also help you with proper recovery and corrective exercises. It’s common to get injured while training for an event due to too much stress to the muscles. Get a foam roller, use it and stretch often.
LBM: What are some keys to creating a smart training plan?
SD: Think of you hitting your fitness goals as a long-term project. Don’t be afraid to take a few days off; you won’t lose any fitness you gained.
LBM: What tips do you have for beginners who want to set an endurance goal?
SD: Consistency is the key to progressing. For cycling, if you’re a beginner and getting your first road bike, I suggest you ride it without clipping into the pedals. Once you’re used to the bike, then try cycling-specific shoes. For runners, find the right fit and style of shoe for your feet.
LBM: How early should someone start training for an endurance event?
SD: Many people think they need to start training far more in advance for an event than they really need to. If your goal is a marathon or a 100-mile bike ride, use shorter events leading up to those such as a 5K, 10K, half marathon or 25-mile ride. … For most people, signing up for and doing more official rides or events will provide more motivation than just going out and training.