15 September 2021
When tackling a physical challenge, especially for the first time, it can feel intimidating going it alone. While there are many tips and tricks for kickstarting any training regimen, we find that the best place to start is to find a supportive training community who can encourage and motivate you along the way. Having a community of others around you with similar goals can make a world of difference when first getting started.
There are plenty of ways to build your training community, get yourself motivated and make a real change in the way that you approach your training ahead of your Inspired Adventure.
Ask a friend to be your workout buddy
Find a friend with similar fitness goals, and ask them to become your workout buddy. A training buddy can hold you accountable for reaching your goals, train alongside you, and be there for you when your muscles ache and you just need to complain. Having someone to talk to about a shared experience and swap tips on training and recovery will make you feel less alone in taking on this challenge. If distance permits, you can go on walks or to the gym with your workout buddy too. At the end of the day, it’s all about finding ways to encourage yourself to get out there, push yourself to try new things and make the experience of training fun.
Find a local bushwalking or running group
Bushwalking groups are filled with people, just like you, who are looking to improve their fitness and explore the great outdoors. There are plenty of local bushwalking groups, most of which are free.
Take a look on sites like Meetup or Facebook to find one in your area. These groups organise regular bushwalks, meaning that you’ll be able to meet like-minded trekkers in your area. The group organisers will put in the work of deciding which trail to take, the meeting place, the best time to trek, and sometimes even transport. All you need to do is show up on time.
This is also a fantastic advantage from a safety perspective, as bushwalking alone in an area you are unfamiliar with can lead to potentially dangerous situations.
As a bonus, the other people in the group are likely to have trekking wisdom to share with you, which is particularly useful if you’re training for your first multi-day trek. From gear and packing tips, to advice on avoiding blisters, or other nearby bushwalks, don’t underestimate the value of their knowledge.
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Take a regular fitness class
Attending a regular fitness class at your local gym is another fantastic way to meet those with similar goals. Check out what’s on offer in your area, as some gyms even offer specific trekking training programs.
If you can’t attend a gym close to you, or need to fit in your workout around a busy schedule, consider signing up to virtual classes. While virtual classes mostly took off during the pandemic, many gyms have continued offering them because they offer greater flexibility to those with busy schedules or who live too far from the gym. The more regularly you attend, the more you’ll get to know the people in your class, opening up more opportunities to make a new training buddy.
Use fitness apps like Strava
Strava has been called “the social network for athletes”, and is very popular among athletes across all sports. There are also plenty of other alternatives, like Google Fit, RunKeeper or Runalyze. With these apps, you can track your training, including walks, runs, cycles, stair stepper, weights and even yoga. At the end of your workout, you’ll be able to see the elapsed time, distance trekked, elevation, and even your heart rate (if you have a smart watch).
One advantage of Strava is that it allows you to connect with your friends who also use the app. The social media aspect of Strava means that you can celebrate the accomplishments of others together, engage in friendly competition, and keep yourself motivated to reach your goals by joining a challenge, such as completing a certain number of kilometres in a month. Strava can also be connected with your Raisely fundraising page, yet another opportunity to share your training with your network.
Share your training updates on social media
By sharing your training progress on social media, you’ll find other like-minded people within your social networks that you may never have known shared an interest with you. Together, your accomplishments can be recognised and applauded, further motivating you to keep going. Plus, fitness updates work hand in hand with your fundraising efforts. If your friends and family can see the hard work you are putting in to prepare for your challenge, they are more likely to make a donation to your fundraising page.