In the previous blogs of this series, I have written about the process of getting started with a new bike as well as the basic principles to building fitness. In this next entry I want to create a template for you to use for creating goals and why they are so important. As I’m sure you’ve heard or read many times, a goal without a plan is just a dream. Therefore, after this entry I hope you can use the template I create to realize what you want to accomplish and how you will do so.
Parts of a Goal
Where a majority of the population goes wrong with goal-setting is that they stop at just the outcome goal. For example, you might hear someone say they want to be the CEO of a company or they want to lose 15 pounds over the next 3 months. In my opinion those are fantastic things, but there is no plan in which to act. The most important part of any goal is the action plan and breaking down these lofty outcome goals to more realistic performance and process oriented tasks. Let me touch on what this might look like a bit further.
For the sake of this blog and being a beginner cyclist, lets say that you have a goal to complete a 300 mile cycling tour next summer. This is a great outcome goal, but now lets break this down into performance. The first thing you need to see is that you’ll need to cycle 300 miles in a span of several days. This should be the foundation in which you work from and lay out a plan with performance goals along the way.
Example: 16 weeks to 300 mile cycling tour
Week 16: 300 miles
Week 12: 200 miles
Week 8: 150 miles
Week 4: 100 miles
Week 1: 50 miles
You need to have tangible goals in which to shoot for that are within your control and realistic. If you remember last weeks entry about the 10% rule in volume, this would be a great place to use this principle along with performance goals. The performance goal is the 2nd part of the equation.
Note: Performance goals have numbers tied to them
This is the bread and butter. This is where the magic happens. Process goals are small goals that if done repeatedly, lead to the big outcome goal. If we use the example above of the 300 mile tour rider, then a process goal might look something like this.
Ride 1 long ride a week
These goals are tasks that are easy to do, but will help lead you to your performance goals. As we know, your performance goals will lead to your outcome goal. What I often tell my athletes is that the performance will happen and the performance will help towards the outcome. However, if you can just limit your focus to obtaining those process goals, you will be in a fantastic spot to achieve all of the goals you set out for. If you were to talk to any of my athletes, their process goal is simply to achieve and upload all of the workouts I set out for them. They know that if they can control that and hit their workouts, then the rest of the equation tends to come together in the end.
I feel obligated to put this section in here because of how many times it was drilled into my head in graduate school.
Basically what this is saying is that your goal should be something that is obtainable if you work at it and can be achieved in a certain amount of time. Again, a goal without a plan is just a dream.
Template for Goal Setting
Outcome Goal: _______________________________________________________________
Performance Goal: ___________________________________________________________
Timetable for Goal:____________________________________________________________
I’ll leave you with one example of how my athletes set goals and how we achieve them.
Outcome Goal: Qualify for Boston
Performance Goal: Build up to 55 miles/week
Performance Goal: Increase Run Threshold Pace from 8:45-8:00
Process Goal: Run 6 times a week
Process Goal: Upload heart rate data after workout
Timetable for Goal: 8 months
- What this was able to do for my athlete is take the stress of qualifying away by having her focus on small process goals of completing workouts and uploading data. By just focusing on these small tasks, she was able to accomplish her outcome goal and continue on with her journey.
Intro to Part 4
We now have a bike, a understanding of building fitness, and an understanding of how to develop goals. In part 4 we will get more catered to the athlete and talk about specifics and periodization of your training. By knowing the right times to train specifically, you can start to peak your performance for days that matter!