This is a big mistake of many cyclists included myself in years gone by, if you don’t have a clear idea of your goal then you will not know how to achieve it or even when you achieve it!
Setting realistic and specific goals will help you plan your training sessions so every training ride will be focussed and working towards them.
Make sure your goals are SMART
Specific – “To loose weight” or “ride faster” are not specific enough so try making it goal specific such as “To loose 5kg” or “Go under the hour for a 25mile TT”. This will help you know when you have achieved it.
Measurable – “Be better at Time-Trials” is not measurable so needs to be quantifiable. By saying “Hold a constant power output within 5% for the entire TT” would make this measurable.
Agreed – Once you have set your goals then agree them with important people in your life whether that be partner, work collegues etc as they may affect all parties.
Realistic – Although goals should be challenging they also need to be realistic so if your best 10mile TT time is 27min saying that you want to go sub 20min would be un-realistic thus leaving you feeling disappointed which will not help your morale. Giving a figure of sub 24min would be much more realistic.
Time based – This should coincide with an important event that you may have planned so there is a fixed date rather than just saying “next season”.
Process goals or outcome goals?
So whats the difference then? Well an example of an outcome goal would be “I want to win the Club 25mile TT Open race on the 1st June 2016”, which although it adopts the SMART process, to achieve it depends very much on the opposition on the day. Whereas a process goal would be “To reach peak power for the Club 25mile TT open race on the 1st June 2016 maintaining an average of 340watts which should produce a sub 55min ride”. You see the difference that this goal relies on no-body else and totally in your own control.
When planning your goals you should aim for some larger long term goals, i.e. 6-12months away along with some smaller short term goals along the way around i.e monthly. So if your target is to loose a stone in weight before the start of the season then brake this down to 3lb per month to make it more manageable thus knowing you are on target. Its important to also have your goals wrote down as this makes them more real.
My current goals that I have set are as follows…..
Reduce weight to 85Kg for the start of the TT season on 1st April 2016
I am currently 90kg as of the 1st Nov so aim to loose 1kg per month to achieve this. I am also targeting having less then 20% body fat by the same date.
Increase Threshold power by 25% = 338w by the 1st July 2016
I am currently at 271watts and will maintain that through my base period. I will then start to increase this figure from Feb as I go from my sweetspot base through to the build phase reaching this figure at the peak. I will test myself every 4-6weeks so looking increase by around 15-20watts. I am aiming to be at over 300watts for the 1st April
Achieve a short 21min for 10m TT by 1st September
Once I have reduced my weight and increased my power for the start of the season then I will work on being the most aerodymanic I can be to achieve this and aiming to hold 350w for this distance. I will be targeting a PB by the 1st May, currently 23.18.
Go sub 55min for 25m TT by the end of the season 1st Oct 2016
With all previous goals achieved I feel this will be possible. With only ever having done one race at this distance I plan to enter more longer events throughout the season and will include a 50 and 100mile race that I have never done.