Photo by Mike Briggs
It happens to everyone: spring fever! The weather breaks and you think, “What have I been doing all winter!?” If you’ve been playing it smart by laying an aerobic base during winter, the spring time can ignite a flame inside you for more intensity. Now you’re riding harder, longer and you get that craving to push yourself to tackle new exciting challenges.
It’s perfectly normal to want to push your boundaries and expand your horizons. To be successful it involves smart planning and goal setting. Here are five ways to ensure you not only reach your goals but crush them.
1. Set your sites for the right target.
Sounds easy enough right? “Select a goal for you!” But this requires some serious thought. Know the time commitment that each goal will require of you. Research how much and what type of training is required to meet this goal. Is this something that you can do with the right dedication and drive? Except the challenge and respect the goal you’ve chosen, set out to accomplish it. Be sure to eye-up realistic goals and events for your fitness, something that will be challenging but not put you out of commission. Example: Don’t look to swim the English Channel if you haven’t been in the pool all winter…
2. Seek advice (coaching and mentors).
Whether you plan on running the local 5k or looking to finish your first century ride, you need to know what is required of you to meet that goal. A coach will help you meet and exceed those expectations by setting up a clear pathway.
Chances are there are coaches around your area that would love to work with you and point you in the right direction. Seek out others that have taken on the challenge or that have competed in the event that you’re training for, they’ll know what it takes to succeed. Coaches know what it takes to build the fitness you’re looking for while balancing the new fatigue that you’ll be experiencing. Check out: Cycle-Smart, JBV Coaching and Highland Training for great cycling/running coaching. All come highly recommended and know how to sculpt a great athlete.
3. Track your training and success.
You can track your rides and fitness without leaving your smartphone! With programs like Training Peaks, Strava and My Fitness Pal, an athlete can easily track their mileage, calories, fitness trends, sleep and everything in-between. Progress and seeing a clear upward trend in fitness will help motivate you to get the most from your rides. All of these tools are available online with free and premium versions along with phone apps that make updates and check-ins a breeze.
4. Small victories build to big victories.
Set smaller “mini-goals” to help you accomplish the big goals. Think of these as building blocks to reach that top step of success. Monthly or even daily goals can help you stay on track and give you the assurance you’re moving in the right direction.
Having a workout scheduled daily and finishing that workout the best you can is a perfect mini-goal. A good monthly goal could be to complete a four-hour bike ride feeling strong while fueling correctly. A great daily goal is to eat properly and drink plenty of water, knowing that what you put in your body going to get out in performance.
5. Know you will succeed (mental training and visualization).
When the goal we choose is big, scary and possibly painful, we can second guess our fitness or dedication as the event draws nearer. Knowing in your mind and heart that you will succeed and you have the fortitude to accomplish what you set out to do will be your greatest asset.
The most successful athletes in the world are all encouraged to day dream and visualize success. Let your mind wonder, visualize yourself winning the race not just making the top ten. Think of it as your mind tell your body what to do, you are preparing it for the task that lay ahead.