28 November 2018

Sportsister’s top motivational tips for 2009

January 2, 2009

Sportsister asked athletes, contributors and its staff to share their top motivational tips for 2009. So if you are looking for new year inspiration read on.

Paula Radcliffe, world marathon record holder and Nike Here I Am ambassador

January provides a great time to write down your aims and goals for the coming year. Put them on a piece of paper that you can see often and use these to keep you motivated through the cold winter months

England cricketer Ebony Rainford-Brent

Tell as many of the close people around you your plan to get fit in detail, so every time they see you they will ask, and it causes pressure to get up and ACT!

Find a buddy, someone who is doing what you want to do, and how you want to do it, and stick to them like glue! Chose your buddy well or you’ll both end up scoffing pizza at the cinema instead of in the gym!

Danielle Sellwood, co-founder of Sportsister

Do something that you actually enjoy, try something fun like badminton or indoor climbing and make your sport part of your social life by getting your friends involved too. If it is something that you look forward to then you are less likely to give up. Have fun!

England netballer Eboni Beckford-Chambers

Work hard, train hard and play harder.

Katharine Vile, long term ME sufferer and leading 35-39 age category triathlete

Whatever your goal, bear it in mind: be it crossing the finish line of your first ever race, or getting a podium finish. When the training gets tough and you feel like giving up (we all have many moments like that) visualise your goal. Imagine your family and friends watching you cross the finish line or receive your medal. However tough training gets, there simply is no feeling to beat actually achieving your goal. The pain and difficulty of training is fleeting, the memory of that glorious feeling and the pride you’ll feel lasts forever.

Rachael Woolston, Sportsister contributor and personal trainer


Write down your fitness goal. Whether it’s to run a faster time at a 10k distance, complete your first triathlon or simply to be able to complete a 5k run.

Then, write a training programe for yourself and log your results as you go. If you’re not sure where to start, there are lots of free training programmes that you can download from the internet, or invest a small fee and get a qualified personal trainer to compile a programme (prices start a £25).

Having a programme is a brilliant motivator as you’ll be able to see just how quickly your fitness levels develop which will really keep you inspired; just make sure to advance your programme to keep challenging yourself.

Lizzy Hawker, Britain’s leading female endurance runner

Run with your heart and soul as well as your head and legs – then more becomes possible than you might imagine.

Sarah Russell MSc, triathlete, mum and Sportsister fitness writer


Are you one of those people who thinks ‘I’m not built for running’? or ‘I’m too old? … then think again. I firmly believe that just about anyone can take up running regardless of age, shape or size… and end up loving it. Aside from being the best fat burner there is, running is super time efficient so perfect for busy mums and career girls.

Find a ‘beginners’ group or friends who are at the same level and build up gradually – starting with a jog/walk programme.

Top tips? Be patient and don’t push yourself too far too soon. Always finish a session feeling like you could have done more and end with a positive. Set realistic targets for each run and within each run – ‘I’m going to get to that next car and THEN stop’. Most importantly though, you need to associate running with ‘pleasure’ not discomfort. That way, you’ll carry on, get hooked and be a runner for the rest of your life.

Nicky Sehgal, owner and lead fitness coach of Body Fitness Personal Training


Start small. Set yourself mini goals or smaller check points to your final goal. This then becomes your road map to success. Because your check points are always in sight, you will feel a sense of accomplishment each time you get to one – further motivating you to drive forward to the next check point.

Be honest with yourself. Don’t waste your money on gym membership if you know it’s not for you. Not every one works well in a gym environment. If you have tried and failed before it’s unlikely a gym will work for you this time – so try a different approach.

Convenience is the key. If you want to stick to an exercise regime for the long term, even if you do join a gym, you should still have a few workouts that you can do at home or in your garden using minimal equipment – anytime and anywhere.

Debbie Wylde – Sportsister Sales manager and Life Coach


The present moment is all your will ever have – Eckhart Tolle

Living it! feeling it! breathing it! This is the perfect time to do the ground work before the summer months eat away at your evenings and spare time. A real commitment to yourself and your goal is to write it down like you mean it and visualise how great you will feel once you’ve done it – this very quickly breaks down the most persistent of barriers and will help you to commit to your goal.

A good support and tracking device is to look at your diary or calendar, think what you would like to achieve and when you can commit time to it. Then plot it out, write it in with a realistic target date to achieve it and maintain it.

Louise Hudson, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine

Feeling inspired? Why not take a look at some of our Getting Started guides to get you started in a new sport in 2009.

Getting started – Badminton

How to choose the right yoga for you

Getting started – indoor climbing

Getting started – Triathlon

Getting Started – Cycling

Getting started – trampolining

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