8 Ways to Get a Jump Start on Next Season

6. Analyze your current diet. It is best to have a good sports nutrition expert do it. If you do not have the resources to access a sports nutritionist, you can utilize online software to analyze what is going down your gullet. From there, you can decide to do nothing or make changes.

7. Take a look at your equipment and clothing. Often, new equipment purchases serve as great motivation for getting fitness goals back on track or accomplishing new ones.

If you decide to purchase new gear—or someone surprises you with new equipment for the holidays—consider donating gently-used gear to junior development programs or other programs for kids.

If you are not purchasing a new bike, you can give your current bike new life by taking it into the shop for a full overhaul. Replacing worn parts or upgrading some of your components can often make you more eager to ride.

Go through your closet and do something about clothing you can no longer wear for one reason or another. If the clothing is worn (Can I see your skin through those shorts as I ride behind you?) or stinky, throw it out.

If the clothing doesn't fit your current fashion taste or your current body type, consider donating it to a good charity. Giving gifts of fitness to other people adds to the motivating mojo.

8. If you have not had a complete physical in the last year (or 10) get a physical that includes blood work. Having baseline health measures when healthy can be very valuable in diagnosing any issues in the future. At the very least, the tests confirm your health status.

Because you're an endurance athlete, I know you can do a great job of pacing yourself through the holiday season. If you are beginning to feel like that hamster I described at the beginning of the column, take a breath and consider what you can do to make your health and fitness program successful for the remainder of December.

I look forward to reading about your successes in the coming year. Keep us here at Active posted on your accomplishments.


Gale Bernhardt was the 2003 USA Triathlon Pan American Games and 2004 USA Triathlon Olympic coach for both the men's and women's teams. Her first Olympic experience was as a personal cycling coach at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. Thousands of athletes have had successful training and racing experiences using Gale's pre-built, easy-to-follow training plans. For more information, click here. Let Gale and Active Trainer help you succeed.

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