Create goals for next season

"Don't show up to prove. Show up to improve."

We all have heard sayings like this, and it is very easy to agree with the philosophy. Putting it into practice is entirely different. Finding and setting personal goals can be hard, and it is even more difficult to make them attainable.

Regardless of the level of competitiveness among different athletes, the commitment required to achieve success is very high for the sport of triathlon.

Goal setting is one way of staying committed to the sport. Their are three different goal sets to develop; Long-term goals, Daily training goals, and Competition goals.

Long-term Goals:
When setting the long-term goal, it is important to remind yourself why you enjoy this sport. Long-term goal setting needs to have both intrinsic and extrinsic elements, but long-term goals without the intrinsic components makes goals hard to achieve.

Example questions to ask yourselves:

- What do you enjoy about the sport?
- What is your dream goal, what do you want to achieve?
- What do you need to do in order to achieve your dream goal?
- Which athletic abilities do you need to improve in order to achieve this goal?
- How committed are you to this goal?
- What is your overall goal for the season?

Daily training goals:
After the long-term goal is set, focus on setting daily training goals that will lead to achieving your dream or end of season goal.

When setting daily training goals, be SMART about it.

S – Is it Specific?
M – Is it Measurable?
A – Is it Agreeable?
R – Is it Realistic?
T – Is it Time Limited?

When you set SMART daily training goals, they help guide your behavior and attention, and it helps foster confidence.

Competition goals: Just like training goals, each competition needs goals. Setting different goals for competition can include outcome goals, performance goals, and process goals.
  • Outcome goals (winning the race, finishing top 3) are great for your long term motivation but can cause pre-performance distractions and anxiety. 
  • Performance goals (running a sub-30 minute 5K) help to achieve proper focus in competition. 
  • Process goals (maintaining form on the run) can be set for each discipline and help to keep your mind from wondering to distractions.
What are your goals for 2016 race season?