How to train S.M.A.R.T. and Recovery Tips

Since the beginning of lockdown, many of us have increased our activity levels. Whether this be walking, running, cycling or any other activity. While this is excellent, you do need to be careful about sudden increases in exercise. If you double your exercise suddenly, this can cause problems for the body. For this reason I will talk to you about S.M.A.R.T. goal setting and also give some tips in recovery. This can help you set goals that are achievable and help you not over do it.
S.M.A.R.T. Goal Setting



• Specific – Set a goal that is clear and easy to understand i.e. lose weight, walk/run/cycle a certain distance
• Measurable- Set yourself a number that is clear to your goal i.e. lose 3KGs, walk/run 5Km in a certain time a certain amount of times/week, cycle 20Km etc.
• Attainable- keep your goal realistic. You do not want to aim for an unachievable weight goal or running/cycling time. This can cause disappointment and demotivate you, causing you to possible give up on your goals
• Relevant- Keep your goals relevant to you. Do not let others influence your goals as you may lose interest in them.
• Time Bound- Set yourself an end goal or a date to focus on. Again, keep this realistic.
For those of you wondering about how you should increase your distance for running/walking, it is recommended you increase your distance by about 10% a week. So if you run 5k 4 times a week and are looking to run an extra evening in the week, 10% of 20k is 2k. Therefore you should start running 2k on your extra night of running, then the next week run 2.2k and slowly increase each week. This could be a good rule to apply if you are new to cycling. Also, if you are after recovering from an injury, this rule can apply to you.
If you are new to running/cycling, keep it achievable at the beginning. Start with a short distance and if you are running consider running/walking. This way you can cover a longer distance, even if you are not running it all
Recovery Tips

Recovery is a key part of training. If you do not make time for recovery, you are not giving your body the chance to perform at its best, putting you at risk of injury, overtraining and even putting your health at risk, never mind your performance. If you are very serious about training and like to exercise most days, then leave yourself at least 1 recovery day in the week. For people who like exercise but also enjoy rest days 2-4 days a week is perfect. Just remember 150 minutes of moderate exercise and 75 minutes of intense exercise are the WHO guidelines on exercise, so if you are aiming for this, then work around it.

Recovery does not have to be complicated. Keep it simple. Here are some simple tips, that are a key part of recovery:

1. Sleep- this is a basic part of recovery. During sleep our cells regenerate, so if you are not getting enough sleep, your recovery is affected. 6-8 hours/night is recommended but his does vary from person to person.
2. Food- eating a balanced diet and eating the right amount of food for your energy needs is key to recovery. From getting the right balance of fats/carbohydrates/proteins and getting enough vitamins and minerals.
3. Rehydration- Drinking around 2L of water is recommended with an extra glass advised on days where we exercise.
4. Active Recovery- for those of you that struggle on rest days with actually resting, this may help. Going for a walk or a hike or a slow cycle is a great way to keep us active while still assisting in your recovery.


I hope that this will help many of you with your exercise goals and injury prevention. For those of you that may have already over done it, Gorey Physical Therapy is taking appointments and is willing to help you with reaching your exercise goals with physiotherapy and massage. To make an appointment, get in contact with Lorraine @ 0872101281 or email [email protected]. Also check out our website at