New Years is always an awesome time of year. It’s like everyone gets to turn a page and reset things. This really goes for all areas of our lives, from finances to work and, most notably, our health.

As A triathlete, I am user you have ambitions for the 2018 season. Or maybe you even just recently made up your mind to try a triathlon for the first time. Either way, experienced or beginner, here are 4 steps you can take now to have a great season later.1. Set a Goal

The first thing I would encourage you to do is to set a goal. There are a billion posts out there about goal setting, and even whole books on goal setting and follow through (may I recommend “Finish” by Jon Acuff?). In the triathlon context I have found that simply having a goal gets me out the door more often than not. When I’m lacking motivation, that goal is the last little jolt I need to get off my behind and nail that next workout.

So set a goal. Pick a race, set a realistic time goal, and have at it! It will make a big difference when it’s 15 degrees with ice everywhere.

2. Loose Weight

Yes, I know. Another of the New Year’s Resolution clichés. In all honesty, this is the best time of year to loose weight. For starters, you’ve probably just added a few pounds over the Holiday season. Basically from Thanksgiving to New Year’s eve is all about eating. The other side of this is that unless you are doing a race in the Southern Hemisphere it is probably a few months until you first race of the season. This means you’re training load hasn’t ramped up yet and you can focus on loosing weight vs. recovering from intense workouts.

This year my plan is to use January and the first part of February to loose a bit of weight before my season starts towards the end of February. This lets me prioritize weight loss without compromising my ability to recover and perform when I need to.

3. Get Strong

There’s a lot of controversy over strength training for endurance sports. Some people say it’s just a waste of time and energy and simply tears your body down for no reason. Others think it is amazing and will increase efficiency and power. I fall somewhere in between. The biggest benefit to strength training is injury prevention.

Now, let me say that you have to do it right. Lifting your body weight on a bench press will not help you in Triathlon. But some simple exercises to strengthen the major muscle groups and the supporting muscle groups will help you stay healthy all season long. (Stay tuned for a post dedicated to this! You should subscribe if you haven’t already so you don’t miss it!)

4. Hire a Coach

There is only so far you can go on your own. There are a ton of resources to help you self-coach and reach your goals, but a coach can monitor your progression from an outsiders point of view and be objective when planning your training. A coach can encourage, motivate, and inspire. A coach can also kick you in the pants when you need it. If you have lofty goals for 2018, a coach can help you reach them! (And I know a guy…)

There you go. 4 steps you can take right now that will pay off big time on race day. Which ones will you put into play? Let em know in the comments or on twitter!

PS: Steps 5 & 6 were already mentioned. Subscribe to get all my future blog posts in your email as soon as they are posted, and check out my free training plans! I can also put together a custom one for you or Coach you through the whole season!