Two-time Olympian Colleen DeBeurk has had her share of ups and downs when it comes to winning, losing and achieving her goal of striving to the best marathon runner in the world.
One of DeBeurk's training tips is the buddy system. She hooks up with a variety of training partners, including her husband, her dog and even her daughter.
"Just by being together with those people and working out with them and just discussing your aims and your dreams, I think that is the easiest and simplest way to do it," DeBeurk says.
So ask a friend, spouse, or a trainer to meet you for a workout and you'll be more likely to show up. Another trick is "visualization". DeBeurk takes time out in the evening and even in her sleep to visualize her goal.
"I dream that the race is going to be won in this time," says DeBeurk. Or, I've won the race, and I'm feeling so great."
Visualize how you want to look in your swimsuit. Imagine walking on the beach with everyone noticing how great you look. And focus on the process - the small steps you need to take on your way to achieving your ultimate goals.
Says DeBeurk, "I do try and pick smaller goals in between so that I have something to aim for. If you've got something to aim for, then it's easier to go out and do it."
For instance, create a daily workout schedule and aim to lose one to two pounds a week, rather than overwhelming yourself with the ultimate goal of losing 20. And whatever you do, don't overdo it. Work according to your fitness level.
Confirms Olympic marathon coach Bobby McGee, "Ninty nine percent of people just go out there and train way, way too hard. You know, their brains get way ahead of their physical capabilities, and they stop the program."
McGee, who coaches DeBeurk, also works with recreational athletes with his mental training and motivation program called Unleash. He says everyone has an athlete within. It starts with believing in yourself.
"There is no place for saying, 'That was not good enough,' " McGee says. "Everything is good enough. Just getting there is good enough. That's victory after victory of being an athlete. If you get to the end of the week and can say, 'I exercised three times a week,' you are a winner. You got out the door, you put on your sweats, and you went out there."
Produced by Rob Medich