“We grow great by dreams. All big men are dreamers. They see things in the soft haze of a spring day or in the red fire of a long winter’s evening. Some of us let our dreams die, but others nourish and protect them, nurse them through bad days till they bring them to sunshine and light.” ~ Woodrow Wilson
Gone are the epic rides of summer only to be replaced with cooler temperatures, shorter days, and less time on the bike. Aside from cyclocross, the 2014 cycling season is over, but, this season may just be the most important season of them all. Now, it’s dreaming season . Dreams are where the journey starts for next year. Dreams set you down the path towards achieving something you may not have believed you could accomplish. They are what drive you to fit workouts into hectic schedules and push you when you want to quit. Dreaming season is when you start fueling the fire for 2015. Have you dialed in your cycling dreams for next season?
For some, it may seem too soon to think about next year but for others, many are already planning their 2015 race and cycling season. Regardless of which camp you fall into, it’s important to have lofty new goals, new ambitions, and new venues to fuel your cycling passions through the winter months. However, one misstep in planning is not pausing to reflect on what has recently come to pass. Personal reflection of the past season offers insights to truly optimize your training and racing regimen going forward.
Fueling the fires for next year begins with evaluating this past year. Set aside some time for reflection; consider asking yourself 10 Questions to Evaluate the Success of Your Cycling Season. Or, get insights into your performance by evaluating if your goals were smart (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound). You may question if you were Mentally Set Up for Success?
Moving past the emotional and psychological evaluation, don’t forget to take stock of your bike and bike parts performance. Did you have the right bike and tire setup for the conditions, geography, and terrain in which you raced or trained? Take notice of what worked and what didn’t work. It’s easy to get attached to particular brands or a set up because that is what you have always used; but upon reflection of bike accessories and bike part performance, honest appraisal of performance can steer you to look for cycling accessories that will work better for you in the future. Sometimes getting a bike fit can help better position you for a season of successful riding.
As an athlete, there is certainly a lot of value in staying in tune with your achievements and goals. However, it’s equally important to take the time to reflect on those achievements so that you can repeat them. If you find yourself unable to reach your goals, don’t get discouraged – take the time to re-assess them. Equally important, wWen you’re working toward a goal that’s important to you, the last thing you want is to face an obstacle or unexpected challenge. Set up your 2015 right by planning ahead, plan now to get your road bike or mountain bike in order, along with the gear and resources you need. By dreaming big and having the best bike parts, your successful training and race prep is well underway for a successful 2015.