Joshua Murdock climbing Old Three Mile Highway in Linnville, North Carolina.
While the year may not be quite over, many are already planning their 2014 race and cycling season. Sure, it’s fun to have lofty new goals, new ambitions, and new venues to fuel your cycling passions through the winter months and holiday season, but not pausing to reflect on what has recently come to pass during the previous season is missing a valuable opportunity to make personal gains that only you can make. Personal reflection offers insights to truly optimize your training and racing regimen.
Before setting your sights on new goals for 2014, it’s important to evaluate the previous season with an objective, yet critical eye. The post, Athlete-Coach Season Review, poses 10 questions to review your past season’s performance:
- What was the highlight of your season (for example, best race or greatest accomplishment)?Why?
- What was your greatest disappointment? Why?
- Review your top three goals for this season. Do you feel these were achieved?
- What did you do in training this season that you feel made you faster?
- What did you do in training this season that you feel was not productive?
- If you could change your training, mental preparation, or race tactics/strategy this past season, what would you do differently?
- Was there anything missing in your training this season?
- Do you feel that you trained enough and worked hard enough in training this season?
- Do you feel that you had adequate rest during training and before races?
- Do you have any extra comments and insights on this season?
With these personal insights in mind, you are better equipped to plan and execute a rewarding and successful 2014 cycling season. Take the lessons and insights from these questions to make SMART goals for 2014. When you make your resolutions SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound), not only do you boost your chance of attaining your goals, but you also become a better cyclist in the process. Aside from the traditional resolutions to ride more, to lose weight, and to explore new rides, consider taking on some different resolutions. Explore how these suggestions can add to your training or mental preparation for the upcoming season.
Set a personal goal for the miles you want to ride in 2014. Using a cycling computer, heart rate monitor, or power meter offers options in calculating mileage and other fitness related variables. Try a new tool and see if it makes adding up the miles a little easier.
Learn to maintain your own bike. For some, bike maintenance can be a chore, but having the right set of bike components and tools can make all the difference. Consider creating a pre-ride bike check or an ongoing maintenance program to follow. Bike maintenance can be a great way of engaging in your cycling passion the whole year long.
Bike commute and do it more often. Bike commuting improves fitness, health, saves money, and also benefits the environment by keeping one less car on the road. If you aren’t a bike commuter now, maybe in 2014 you will be. And, if you already bike commute, perhaps resolve to commute by bike more frequently.
Inspire others to get out and ride. Bike inspiration comes in many forms, from DVD‘s, to books, to new bikes and bike parts, to riding with others. Share your bike passion with others in ways that are meaningful and inspiring to them. How many friends do you think you could inspire to be two wheeled friends in 2014?
Give Back. Cycling by nature brings out the best in us all. Consider volunteering your time, skills, or resources at local bike races and bike events. Event participants will be in your gratitude but you may get back more than you give! Many volunteers are inspired to participate, race, or take on bigger goals than they previously imagined due to volunteering and helping others to reach their goals.
Commit to a Positive Attitude. Nothing is more contagious than a positive attitude! Resolve in 2014 to embrace power thoughts and bike parts that motivate you to get on your bike and ride. Surround yourself with fellow cyclist aiming for similar goals. Remember, your attitude determines your altitude.
For cyclist, attaining goals is part motivation, part perspiration, and part having the right tools to help you reach your goals. Here’s to a bright and rewarding New Year ahead!