I've Left It Until The Last Minute

“I’ve left it until the last minute. I’ve got my sister’s wedding in two weeks, and I need to lose a stone.” “I’ve got a half marathon in two weeks, and I haven’t done any running whatsosever.” Tough. Just tough. Sorry, but I have to be honest, and anyone with any moral fibre will tell you the same. Ask yourself honestly, how long have you known about this? How long have you known about your sister’s wedding? 8 months, 12 months, 18 months!?! How long have you known about your half marathon? 6 months, 8 months, 12 months!?! It’s not like these things are a shock or a surprise to you. You had plenty of warning, plenty of time to sensibly plan out a reasonable approach to your goals. But you didn’t, you’ve left it until the last minute, and now it’s too late, and anything you do will only damage yourself.

Look, I know we all do it, we’ve all done it. I’ve been there, university the day or night before a deadline is due, smashing out some coursework. But we also know it’s stupid, we know it’s not the right way to do things. That if we used the timeframe we were given, and planned properly, then we’d get a much better result. So honestly it’s too late, but you’re probably going to be tempted to try something extreme, to cram everything into the short space of time you have left. But that’s only going to be detrimental to what you want to achieve, especially in the long run. If you suddenly try and lose a stone with some horrendous crash diet before the wedding, well you might fit better in that dress, but how are you going to look, how are you going to feel when it comes to the actual day? And think of what happens after wedding day, or even during, with the eating and drinking. Think of how your body going to react to those two extremes. If you suddenly try and plough through three or four big runs before the half marathon at the weekend, how is your body going to feel when you get to that half marathon? Your body won’t be able to cope, an untrained body put through that amount of work in that little time, with no preparation. It’s definitely not going to be beneficial. The week or two before whatever it is, should really be the easiest two weeks of your programme. The hard work should already be done, the foundations solid, and now you’re just making sure your body is at ease, relaxed and ready.

I’ve said it before, we’re too impatient, and that’s part of the problem. We need, and I’ll say it again, and again, and again, we need to start thinking long term. Sensible timeframes, sensible deadlines, sensible goals, sensible steps towards them. You can’t achieve things overnight, certainly not with your body, that’s not really how your body works. Not with complicated things like this, it needs time to adapt, so plan that time for your body to adapt. Make it as easy as possible on your body, and as I’ve said before as well, consequently as easy as possible on your mind. If you’re cramming everything in last minute, that’s so much stress for your mind to put up with. But if you’ve taken your time, it’s relaxing. Well, it’s relatively relaxing, it’s easier. Your mind can cope better, and you’re not making radical changes that your mind and body are going to rebel against.

If you want to lose weight, give yourself at least 6 months to achieve it. That’s when you’re going to see real noticeable change. If you want to run a marathon, give yourself at least 3 months to train for it. And that’s probably still for seasoned exercise goers. Think long term, plan long term, especially for big events like that, especially for big events where you have plenty of notice. Your mind and body will thank you.

And thank you for listening, I’ll see you again next week.

Dan Miller

Body Fuel Personal Fitness Trainer