GET a great support network.
Regardless of whether you want to compete at Ironman level, or whether you are just going to attend the occasional pump or spin class, one of the most important things for any trainer is your support network.
Your support network refers to those people in your life that live the training dream with you, that go through the hard times, that cheer you on, that rub you down (following injuries) and that generally support your quest for a fit and healthy lifestyle.
There are several levels to your support network, and all are as important as each other.
Let's consider your 'close' support network first.
This generally includes your family and very close friends.
Your family is pivotal in your training success, as it is this group of people that watch the kids while you are training, they cook dinner while you are at the gym or out on the bike and they travel to exotic locations with you to participate in sporting events (and that allow you to spend a fortune on gear and travel).
For the Guinster, my family support is crucial, as my wife is regularly awoken between 3am and 4am by an alarm, then a snooze, then another snooze, before I finally drag my backside out of bed for a run or a ride.
Of the three Ironman events that I have completed, my wife and kids have only attended one of those events, and in that event, I completed the race in my quickest finish time (not too far behind Macca's time).
To have Julie there at the finish line was amazing, and motivational.
Then, there is your 'training buddies' support network.
This is a key network, too, as it is a lot easier to get out of bed, especially in the depths of winter, when you know there is another mad unit out there in the darkness somewhere waiting for you.
For the Guinster, and although we solve many of the problems of the world before the sun comes up most days, my training buddies (and I) have to deal with a large amount of flatulence.
Flatulence is a by-product of both the exercise process itself (the jolting and bouncing) as well as the clean living diet of us elite athletes.
A diet high in quality fruit and vegetables is sure to create some noise (and odour) for your training buddies (hey Joe).
Finally, there are the 'remote' support network.
These people include those that check out your times on the internet, and who email you when they notice your transition times were one minute slower than last year.
There is a place in the world for the remote support network, and it is very easy to stay in touch with this group, if you post a photo or two at each of your events to let them know what is happening.
In short, a great support network will make your training life easier, your training more fun and you will have a much better chance of achieving your training goals.