Before you start any cycling training… Please take the time to write down the cycling training goals you would like to achieve for the season.Why is it so important to set cycling training goals?Cycling training can be a confusing subject so the simple solution for many people is to find a good cycling training plan to follow. Now that you have my cycling training plan in your hands, the next step is to put it into action. For many people, this can be a challenge in itself. It’s a proven fact that when the going gets tough (which is around 3-4 week into the program) a large percentage tend to drop off, lose focus and eventually give up all together. I want you to be successful, so to help I am going to share how I go about setting my goals and plan my season.Believe it or not… goals create energy and motivation if you focus on them enough. I’m sure at some point in your life you’ve experimented making fire using a magnifying glass. Using the suns ray and concentrating the ray on a centralised location on the paper, it will soon start to smoke and eventually burst into flames. Well this concept also applies to goal setting. If you focus your energy on a specific goal often and long enough, you’ll be amazed how energized and motivated you’ll be to achieving that goal. So let’s take a look at my 6 step method to success.
1. Set Specific Training Goals
Many people set goals that are too vague. i.e. I want to get fit this year or I want to ride in the 100k flyer event this year. Goals need to be specific and to the point. A good example of a well written goal would be… I will complete the 100k flyer event in 3hrs on 2 April 2011. This goal is very specific naming the event date and the time I want to achieve the ride in.
2. Set Measurable Training Goals
It’s really important you have a way to measure your progress. You need to record weight loss, average speed, resting heart rate etc. I use weighing scales, a heart rate monitor and cycling computer to capture these statistics. I record my training statistics in a simple excel spreadsheet…. This keeps everything nice and tidy and very easy to manage. I’ll show you how I do this in the video demonstration.
3. Set Your Training Goals High
Nothing great has ever been achieved by being realistic so set your goals high and never under estimate your own ability. Decide what you really want to achieve, not what you think you can achieve. Think about goals you have never achieved before, faster times than your previous races, racing in the A grade on cycling club night. The only thing preventing you from achieving the big goals is YOU and your limited thinking. Dream big; make it exciting, if it’s not exciting or slightly scary, then the goal more than likely isn’t challenging enough.
4. Set Realistic Training Deadlines
To achieve an average speed of 32kmph over a 100km distance in 4 weeks would be nice but is very unlikely to happen unless you’re a super gifted athlete. Be realistic with your time frames when setting your goals otherwise discouragement could set in. Remember there are not unrealistic goals, only unrealistic deadlines. Be patient with your progress, its far better for your health in the long term to set realistic time frames.
5. Set short/long term goals
Break down your goals into, daily, weekly, 3 monthly and 12 monthly categories. Your 12 monthly goals should be some massive goal like losing 50 kgs because there is plenty of time to achieve this. The 3 monthly goal would then be to lose 12.5kgs which all of a sudden is very achievable. Now if you break this down to a weekly goal, it would work out to be 1kg. Next are your daily goals which are essentially the habits that need to be formed to achieve your long term goals i.e. 1hr daily exercise, meal preparation, regular eating times, healthy food selection, adequate water consumption etc.
6. Read and visualise your goals daily
Read and visualise your goals both morning and night. Make up affirmation cards and refer to them during the day as often as possible. Write your goals on posits and place them in various areas around your home i.e. bathroom mirror, computer screen, fridge door etc. Repetition is an effective way to penetrate and program the subconscious mind. Like I said in the first paragraph, if you focus your energy on a specific goal often and long enough, you’ll be amazed how energized and motivated you’ll be to achieving that goal.