Goals!! (or gooooooooooooooal!!!! if you're an Argentinian football commentator!)..........that's from football right - well no, not if you're an athlete. Goals are also your aim or desired result. We set goals to help us analyse our progress - they help us achieve, and they help to challenge us. We want to set goals that inspire action and positive change.
Whether you dread or look forward to it, most athletes at least recognise the importance of setting goals. But setting the right kind of goals — the ones that inspire action and positive change — can be tough. So, below i've listed some tips on helping with your goal setting for 2020.
We all want to have a better swim, bike, and run. But if you’ve been training for a while, you probably realise that prioritising is a must in order to continue to improve.
Instead of viewing it as a boring off-season, think of the winter as an exciting opportunity. You’ll never have the chance in May to put your run on autopilot while you bring up your bike, because too many races will interfere. Take advantage of this time period to improve your weaknesses.
2. Choose Performance Over Outcome
An example of a performance goal is to finish a run race with a time improvement instead of a certain placement. I advise you to pick your goal based on variables you can control as much as possible. Don’t worry if the world champ in your age group shows up — focus on your own time, rather than on your performance relative to theirs
3. Work Backward
Start with your big goal for the season, then work backward to figure out what you should be doing between now and then. This is also known as backward planning........think of it as walking down a “set of stairs” with the bottom of the stairs representing your current fitness and level of performance and preparedness. This will help you determine goal checkpoints along the way. Setting smaller goals as you go will keep you accountable and the motivation high.
4. Be Specific
Not only does the goal, “improve swim form,” sound not fun, but it’s also really tough to measure. Choose an exciting goal with metrics to quantify your progress, like to improve your CSS (Critical Swim Speed).
5. Think In Terms of Big Payoff
By “big payoff” we mean getting the most you can out of your effort and time. For instance, if you’re new to cycling, you can probably make a lot of improvements with some focused training. Conversely if you’re a former competitive cyclist, then it probably makes more sense to focus on another sport e.g. focus on swimming - have a swim focus block for 6 weeks.
Follow the tips above, set some goals and targets that are linked to your A races, write them down, and this will make your planning and preparation a whole lot easier.
Don't just look at "I want to get quicker" - it may just be "I need to train more consistently". How can i be more consistent?
Set smaller achievable goals that influence your overall goal - i.e. these smaller goals lay a path towards the larger goal
Put the goals on your fridge door to remind you; surround yourself with positive people to support and help you on your journey.
Re-analyse your goals and progress every month (for example) - look at how far you've come, then re-adjust
Hope the above helps!!!......until next time - happy training y'all!!