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Need more goals for my Annual TrainingPlan?(5 posts)

Need more goals for my Annual TrainingPlan?flyinbowlofmilk
Dec 8, 2002 7:15 PM
Hi I just came off my 1st racing season as a Cat 5 racer. And I just purchase the Cyclist Training Bible by Joe Friel, not to metion that I get e-fit's newsletter. I am a 32yrs old going on 33 yrs old. Next year will be my 2nd year as a Cat 5 racer. But here come my problem. I don't have nothing but 2 or 3 goals for my ATP for next year. My goals are (1) Do more races,(2) Stay with the pack in Road races and Crits.,(3) To try to finish in the top 10 by the end of the 2003. My last goal is a stretch for me. I think I need more than 3 goals for my ATP,although this will be my 1st time using a ATP. So I guess I need some advice from the experience racers. As for my 1st racing year I did 6 races,finishing 2 road races,and coming close to finishing a crit. In road races I would get dropped in the 1st lap ,but managed to finish it. The exact opposite in crits,I would come close to finishing the crits. before getting pulled. Thanks in advance for the advice.


perhaps more specific and "nested" goals?lonefrontranger
Dec 9, 2002 8:09 AM
The challenge with setting goals is that oftentimes when we are inexperienced, we don't have enough basis to figure out what our goals should be. Therefore, setting "interim" goals can help, and also you need something pretty concrete to work towards as an ultimate goal. For example, you say:

Goal #1): Do more races.

Here I would assign a "metric", meaning a numeric amount, to that goal. You might say: "I will do a minimum of 10 races this year". Then in order to stretch yourself a bit, you should analyze exactly WHAT those races are going to be. Your local/regional racing calendar should be posted by January or February, which gives you plenty of time to determine your focus events for the year.

At the most basic level, these 10 races, could just be 10 of your local Tuesday night club races, which is a fine goal, particularly for a beginner racer. Or, since you've already raced one season, you might want to raise your game a bit and say "10 races, of which 5 are USCF regional weekend races", which means you will probably have to commit to traveling a bit more; say 2 hours from home on 1/2 of your race days. Racing out of your local area teaches you how to be organized for an event, and also helps stretch you because at these regional weekend "prize list" events, the fields will be bigger, and you'll be racing with a different and probably more competitive crowd. Or, you could use 6-8 of your 10 races to work towards a focus event; say you have district championships in July and want to go to that; using the periodization precepts in the Friel plan, you'd figure how to put together an 8-week peaking plan to bring you into districts in top form, using 6-8 of those races, then spend the rest of the season tapering and having fun with it.

In otherwords, your primary goals should have interim goals nested within them. Breaking down your goals into smaller "chunks" like this is a good way to make them much more achievable. It's like the parable of eating the elephant: one spoonful at a time.

Also, I think you don't give yourself enough credit. Self-confidence is a big step towards doing well and winning. Don't take an "I'm not worthy" attitude when racing. It's important that you are realistic about your ability, but you can't talk yourself out of doing well, or you'll be off the back before you even have a chance to show what you can do. This can be seen even in little things like having the confidence to line up in the front and get good pack position. If you do your homework over the winter and get good training miles in, there's no reason why you shouldn't be able to finish in the top-10 this season on a regular basis, because you've got a lot of the beginner jitters behind you.
Great advice!James OCLV
Dec 9, 2002 9:22 AM
The only other thing that I would mention is that in developing your ATP, you need to prioritize your races.

Instead of a goal like "Place in the top 10 by the end of 2003", you might say something like "Place in the top 10 in my 2nd "A" race".

The criteria of a good goal is that the goal is Timely, Measurable and Attainable (even though it may be a stretch, you have to be realistic).
re: Need more goals for my Annual TrainingPlan?RobbDC
Dec 9, 2002 1:49 PM
Good advice so far. A common goal for a Cat 5 racer is often to upgrade to a 4.

I agree with the previous post(s) as well. Don't belittle yourself. Be a BADASS!!

re: Need more goals for my Annual TrainingPlan?eurochien
Dec 9, 2002 2:36 PM
Measurable goals:
Time trials. Where do you want to finish compared to other cat 5s? Check out the times in your category for a recurring yearly time trial, or tt series and train on the course. Record your performance and sign up.
Hill climbs: what's the winning time of a particular local hill climb in your category? Go and train on it and record your time. Then go do the race.
For crits and road races, it's harder to measure because of all the unpredictable elements (other guys, tactics, crashes, etc.) but going out and training in group rides with other racers will help you see where you stand (whether they're cat 5s, 4s or 3s). That will give you a better idea of what you're best suited for and what you need to work on. If you concentrate on your strengths only you may able to achieve your goals on the short term but eventually you'll pay for it in frustration when you plateau (speaking from experience...). Take your time and become well-rounded and you'll be a factor in a lot of races.