Whether you will hit the new year flying with a fitness session on New Year’s Day or wait until your holiday is over then swing into action with your 2019 resolutions, setting realistic goals are likely to produce the best outcomes.
I like to get right into it with a session on January 1 to set the tone for the new year.
I also enter an event to keep me motivated. Having an event to train for can prove the difference between hitting the snooze button when the alarm goes off and going back to sleep or getting up.
This year I am planning running events in April and May and because they are long distance I am already well into establishing a good base to build from. But if you are starting from scratch there are still some options that might motivate you.
If you have not set a 2019 goal yet but are looking for inspiration, here are some suggestions that might get you moving:
From NewRun in Newcastle on April 7, with distances from five to 42.2 kilometres, to the iconic Sun Herald City2Surf in August, set a short or long-term goal. Locally, there is also the Maitland River Run in June and the Winery Running Festival in the Hunter Valley in July. Your goal could be walking it, running without stopping or a new personal best time.
With the mercury rising it is the perfect time of year for a water event. The Newcastle Harbour swim classic is on Australia Day. The following day is the Nobbys to Newcastle Ocean Swim. If you are more suited to swimming than running or cycling, you could get a team together for the Sparke Helmore City Triathlon on February 24 and do the water leg. Or maybe this will be the year you take up paddle boarding or surfing. Aqua aerobics is another option and, in case you missed it, Aqua Stars at Warners Bay have launched aqua pole, aqua box and aqua elastics classes. They are low impact but a good workout suited to a range of ages and abilities.
The popularity of trail running continues to grow and we are blessed in our region with plenty of places to do it. I love running along our coastline but I am equally happy hitting the trails and being immersed in nature. The softer ground can be less impact on your body than pounding the pavement. There is a new event in town in 2019 – The Coastal Ascent on March 31. It starts at Dixon Park and makes it way into Glenrock State Reserve with some challenging hills and stairs to conquer. Later in the year, the Thunderbolt Classic Trail Run (16km or a hillier 33km) in Barrington Tops is on August 31.
Looking for an adrenalin rush, then the Wollombi Wild Ride (September 7) or the Mongrel Classic mountain bike event (October 19) at Richmond Vale might be for you. There is also the Lake Macquarie leg of the Maximum Adventure Series on February 16. It involves trail running, mountain biking and kyaking.
If you are looking for something with less impact and less intensity, why not look into trying something like walking netball or lifeball. A free walking netball pilot program was held at National Park netball courts in Newcastle towards the end of this year and could be back, so stay tuned. Lifeball at Warners Bay is held every Friday at 9.30am at Newcastle Indoor Centre at 314 Hillsborough Road, Warners Bay. It if for those who want to get active but are limited to walking and also offers a social outlet. You can find out more by contacting Deb Stanton on 0421 030 751.
Whatever your goals are for 2019, make them attainable so you can stick to them. Seek professional advice if you are unsure of how to get started and how to progress. Slow and steady will always win out over going gung-ho then losing interest after a couple of weeks. And devote yourself to a few weeks of establishing a routine that you might be able to stick to for the long haul.
New Year’s Day parkruns, Hunter: Kick off 2019 with a parkrun. There will be events on at Blackbutt, Lake Mac, Newy, The Beaches and The Terrace. Some times may vary so check the home pages.
Newcastle Harbour Swim Classic, Newcastle, January 26: A 700m single crossing of the harbour or a 1.4km double crossing.
Nobbys 2 Newcastle Ocean Swim, Newcastle, January 27: A 2km ocean swim from Nobbys beach to Newcastle beach.
NewRun 2019, Newcastle, April 7: Options are 5km, 10km, 21.1km or a new flat marathon (42.2km) course. There is also a kids 2km.
This is a workout to bring in the New Year:
Part 1: Run 200 metres, walk 200m; run 400m, walk 200; run 600m, walk 200m, run 800m, walk 200m, run 600m, walk 200m, run 400m, walk 200m, run 200m, walk 200m. If you don’t have much room, change this to skipping and set your intervals by time. So, skip 30 seconds, rest 30sec; skip 1min, rest 30sec; skip 90sec, rest 30sec, etcetera.
Part 2: 10 minutes x squats, bear crawls (forwards then backwards), push-ups, lunges, rows/pull-ups. Start with two of each and work up by twos until time is up.
Part 3: 5min core work.
If the weather is hot, do part 1 as a swimming component or walking in the water.
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Renee Valentine is a writer, qualified personal trainer and mother of three.
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