The new year is upon us and that means that race registrations are starting to pop up in your inbox on a daily basis. If you are anything like me, the itch to get back into training and racing is in full effect! Picking a key race or two can be an exciting first step towards having an awesome season.
Okay, you are all registered for your race and ready to go. Now what? Review these pointers on assessing previous performance to set SMART race goals that will lead you into a winning season. You won't regret it!
The first step towards planning a successful season is to review your previous season performance. Taking 10-15 minutes to answer these questions will allow you to plan a season that is more successful than the last. And that is what we all want, right?
Season Review - Part 1
•Did you achieve your top 3 goals?
•Use original goals, goal drift is common mid-season
•What did you do this season that made you faster?
•What did you do this season that was not productive?
•If you could change your training, mental prep, or race tactics, what would you do differently?
•Was there anything missing in your training this season?
•Do you feel you trained enough and worked hard enough?
•Do you feel you had adequate rest during training and before races?
•Any other thoughts on the season?
Season Review - Part 2
Assessing Your Personal Profile: Abilities/Techniques
•Rate each category (1=weakness, 5=strength) for the following:
Using the insights and knowledge you gained from completing the season review you will now be able to make SMART season goals!
What are SMART goals?
•Specific & Simple
•My goal is to decrease my 1500m swim time to 21 minutes by July 1, 2018
•My goal is to finish Ironman Wisconsin in September 2018 in less than 12 hours
•My goal is to win the Hawaii Ironman World Championships
•My goal is to have the fastest run split at my next triathlon
You can see that the first two examples include specific goals that can be measured, are tied to a time & date, and are relevant to personal performance. The second two goals contain a common error many make when determining race goals; setting standards that are out of your control. Such as running the fastest run split of the day. What if the world record holder for the 5K shows up? You now have no chance of ever reaching your goal. By setting goals that are specific to your performance, you not only have a better chance of achieving them, but you have a better idea of how you are progressing along the way!
You've determined your SMART performance goals, now it is time to set a few long-term and short-term goals to keep them company. Setting short-term and long-term goals keeps you traveling on a roadmap to success!
Set long-term goals
•5-year goal, lifetime goal
Set smaller goals
•One-year goals, 6-month goals, 1-month goals
Now comes the most important piece of the puzzle. Write your goals down and place them in a highly visible location were you will see them on a daily basis. You don't have to go shout them from the rooftops, but by personally visualizing your written goals on a frequent basis you will be more likely to achieve them!