How do you normally set goals for a race?
Although I come off as a numbers guy, I tend to shy away from time oriented goals. Weather and race conditions can make it challenging to achieve a personal best or a desired time.
I typically have a few personal goals for each race that I attempt.
>- I usually start with my overall goal: what is it that I want to achieve? Maybe it’s a placing or I want to test my fitness in one portion of the race.
>- Next, I like to have metric (heart rate, cadence, power) goals. So I might want to average a certain wattage on the bike or run at a constant heart rate.
The other goals I have relate to how I am feeling.
>- How do I want to physically feel at different stages of the race? I may want to start a race with the lead group and must be willing to go hard. Conversely, I may have a goal to hold back so that I can achieve my overall goal or a metric goal.
>- How should I mentally feel at different stages of the race? This is an often overlooked goal. Why? Because most athletes focus on the pain instead of focusing on what’s going on around them. I often write goals that are related to personal achievements or experiences to replace any negative thoughts that I may have. In my opinion, all athletes will have some self doubts during a race but, it’s the champions that know how to turn any negative situation into a positive one.
Having only one goal for a race can be frustrating if it’s not achieved. Writing down several personal goals can help you keep you motivated as you progress through the event.