Wednesday, 19 October 2005

Racing Principle #4

Posted by speedygeoff on Wednesday, October 19, 2005 with No comments
"Have Long Term Goals"

Fairly obvious? Long term goals set the context for all other planning. If you want to break the age group record for 800 metres on the track, why would you plan to train and race as if you were a marathoner (for example)?

In a training and racing program reference points are essential. An athlete must have information as to where they are, where they have come from and where they are going. Part of a successful athletic program is making the right decisions as to when to compete and when to rest, when to increase training intensity and when to back off.

One should have identified two or three long term goals. Even though these are "dream goals", to be useful for setting the context, they need to be achievable, and they need to be specific.

Distance runners take years to develop - so their long term, dream goals, would usually span more than a year. And distance runners should not be changing their minds too often about what their goals are.

If you are anything like me you will start each new year with a fresh set of goals – sometimes recycled from previous years, sometimes new ones.

My goals are probably not like the typical new year resolutions of non-athletes. Most performance oriented athletes tend not to have hazy visions of possible futures which disappear after only a few weeks. They seem to be able to turn their long term goals and dreams into reality, with a little thought and planning.

Rarely are our goals couched in general terms like “get fitter”, “lose weight”, “improve times”. Usually our goals are more specific, like “break 30 seconds for 200m this year, or ” knock 5 minutes off my 10k time over the next two years”.

How can you best work towards making your long term goals a reality?

First, write down your goals, then discard any vague statements and replace them with more specific statements.

Second, having decided on a goal that you want to achieve, be committed to achieving the goal. Is it something you will be able to give priority to? Are the rewards of achieving it worth the effort involved?

Then third, do you believe you can achieve the goal? Goals should be challenging but also achievable, otherwise you will only get discouraged.

Last, the process of working towards your goal should be broken down into a number of steps, and you should plan to focus on only one step at a time.

Racing Principle #4 - Have Long Term Goals.


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