woman marathon

5 Strategies to Prepare for 2021 Like a Marathon

Written by Annie Gaudreault

As a collective, we were all ready to say goodbye and good riddance to 2020 and welcome 2021 and the fresh new year. But this year will still require a lot of patience, determination and resilience from us. It will be a marathon, not a sprint, so we should treat it as such.

As someone who has completed 12 marathons and three Ironman® competitions, I know what it takes to be successful in an endurance event. Here are my top five strategies to get ready and treat this year like athletes do.

That might sound obvious but it’s more complex than you think. Do you want to just make it to the end of 2021, aka survive, or do you want to thrive? Don’t be afraid to set those big goals out of fear that you might not reach them. If you never try you never know.

Now that you’ve got your goal, you need a plan. More often than not we set big goals but don’t give ourselves a fighting chance to achieve them because we never figure out how we’re going to get there. Much like a marathon training plan, a plan to accomplish your big goal requires you to break down the goal into actionable steps that slowly but surely get you to where you want to end up. Make it clear and write it down; what, when, where, for how long, etc.

You have your plan, now it’s time to focus on this month, this week and today, otherwise it’s just too easy to get overwhelmed and to lose focus. Just like thinking about running 26 miles seems like a lot, looking at your plan as a whole may seem daunting and like too much work, so then you quit before you’ve even started. Small, actionable daily steps will eventually get you there, so try to stay in the present and just focus on the task at hand.

To have a plan and to stick to it requires guidance. I trained for two marathons on my own with the goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon, and I failed both times. The third time I hired a coach and had a running community by my side and that is the time I finally qualified. You need coaching and a community of support in order to be able to consistently get the feedback you need to keep going.

Don’t try to research online and go it alone. You will have questions and you need advice from a coach and a community of like-minded people whose experiences you can draw on. Your success team cheering you on, giving it to you straight and helping you tweak your approach will all be key factors to your success.

If you want to be resilient, focus on progress, not perfection. That doesn’t mean you’re not tweaking and making adjustments to improve, but rather it’s a mindset shift from, is this done right and perfectly, to, am I making progress? If the answer is yes, then you’re winning! Celebrate that progress because this is what’s going to carry you through month after month.

Don’t expect perfection, but rather imperfection! But know that with your plan in place you can always adjust as needed. In fact, about ¾ of the way through a marathon you can expect the “dark clouds” to move in. This is when the race becomes a mental one. When you are pushed and challenged and have those “bite me” moments. I would remind myself that this is just part of the course, and that this too shall pass.

So there you have it, the exact strategies I used to successfully complete my endurance events that you can now implement in your daily life to achieve your big, bold goals!

Annie Gaudreault is a RevolutionHer™ Business Member, and a women’s health expert and nutritionist who speaks 3 languages – French, English and Health! As the Founder of Veev Health & Wellness, Annie helps women understand the art and science of living well, and finding the energy they need to build successful businesses and enjoy their lives. For more quick, actionable health and wellness tips you can implement in your life right now, visit veev.ca

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