Want to challenge yourself to shape up this season? Take on a new sport and train like an elite with top tips from our panel of Olympians.

New year, new you? If you’ve made a personal pledge to get in shape during 2018, you’re not alone. According to research by Central YMCA, 39 percent of people resolve to exercise more each year while a further 37 percent vow to lose weight. That’s great – we’re all for being ambitious here. But unfortunately, further data shows that a whopping 11.3 million new year resolutions fail – and six per cent of goals don’t even last a day. The odds are certainly stacked against you.Make this the year you see your goal through. What you need is a plan of action that will create a blueprint for success. A third of goalsetters fail because they don’t have a clear strategy but, by breaking your goal down into series of mini aims, you’ll avoid being overwhelmed by your target and will be able to see frequent progression. That’s how professional athletes get so fit. Don’t believe us? Let them tell you how it’s done. We’ve tapped a panel of Britain’s best sportspeople to get training tips and plans for you to follow. Ready to take your fitness to the next level?

SHAPE UP FOR 2021! Photo Gallery



I ‘Practise the breathing technique required for each stroke as much as possible. Inhale through your nose when facing out of the water; exhale through your mouth and nose when your face is in the water.’



‘Don’t shy away from the stroke you find difficult – vvork on it.There’s a lot of great equipment available to help you improve. I like using the finger paddles to swim with a nice, long stroke. Fins will strengthen the legs, as they allow you to have more propulsion on the leg part of the stroke.’


‘It’s OK to take it easy sometimes. Remember That technique is more important than speed. Front crawl is the simplest stroke to master. When perfected, you’LL be able to swim this stroke at a high intensity, getting a full-body workout.’


‘Where is your body in the water? Take note of your body positioning, as a good position will make all the difference to how you glide through the water. Your body should be in line from head to toe, as this will reduce drag.’


‘Swimming shouldn’t stop when you’ve mastered the strokes.Keep practising to improve your stamina and, week by week, you’ll notice a difference in your fitness levels. When you start to feel comfortable, test yourself by going a bit faster or having a slightly shorter rest.’



Can’t swim? Yakult has teamed up with Olympian Jazz Carlin for a new-year swimming challenge. They are on the lookout for four non-swimmers who want to learn to swim in four weeks. The lucky winners will join a swimming programme with expert coaches, nutrition master classes and guidance from Jazz herself. To learn more,


If you’ve already got a few 5K, five-mile and 10K races under your belt, you might want to consider going faster. In most cases, runners hit the racing Circuit at a moderate pace that pushes the body to an uncomfortable zone, working both lungs and legs. But often, there’s room for improvement – and the way to get quicker is to follow a targeted training plan. Enter the following Sub-40 schedule from the UK’s speediest Olympic triathletes, Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee.-ast running is something the Brownlees know a lot about – as a junior athlete, Alistair was a successful fell- and cross-country runner; nowadays, they both take part in Olympic triathlon, which sees them undertake a 1,500m swim, 43K bike and 10K run. They’ve got fast legs and, if you want to be speedy too, this advanced plan will take you to a very competitive level of running.How does it work & ‘The plan mixes easy running sessions with intense interval workouts to build sustainable speed in the 12 weeks before a race,’ says James Poole, adidas Runners’ captain*. ‘To keep things super simple, the target training paces (for a 40-minute 10k) are at the bottom of the plan so you know how fast and for how long you should run in each session. Remember, easy runs should be easy so you’re rested and ready to work hard in those vital break-through speed sessions.’



lig With a hoşt of 10K races taking place this season, including the all-new adidas City Run series of 10Ks (adidas city, James Heptonstall, adidas Runners’ captain, reveals how to kick-start your training.

What type of training should I do when preparing for a “OK?

A ‘Variation is key. It’s not just about getting out and running – you should be mixing up your training with interval, tempo, fartlek and hill runs. But listen to your body and don’t do too much – rest and recovery is a critical element in all training schedules.’

How do I improve my “OK running time?

A ‘If you’re looking to improve your 10K running time, a key piece of advice is to run with someone of a similar ability, be it a friend or running group. By training with others, you’ll push yourself much harder and work off other people to get more out of your training. Running is a mental game as well as a physical one, so, if you have others around you to support and encourage, it can make the world of difference to your training.

Any top tips you can give for race day?

A ‘Definitely. Here are some key things that I advise runners to take on board…

Don’t change anything. Be it your diet, shoes or kit – you shouldn’t introduce something new on race day

Arrive at the race with plenty of time to spare, so you can warm up, go to the loo and drop off your bag.

Use a watch, so you can keep track of your pace over the km splits.

Stay hydrated, before, during and after the race.

Don’t forget to stretch and cool down after the race.

And, most importantly, enjoy iti’

Maybe You Like Them Too

Leave a Reply

− 7 = 3