Athletes are always advised to set goals to succeed, and this is no different when it comes to triathlon training. It all starts by setting and planning specific goals. Goals are like a map; they provide the direction you need to take to attain your athletic success. Without them, you are likely to head in the wrong direction or even fail to start the journey. Inability to accomplish your goals can lead to frustration and discouragement. Goals help you to focus your attention on your training, increase your persistence, mobilize your efforts and help you come up with new strategies for improvement. Setting goals will help you get the most out of your training. So, how do you go about setting your triathlon training goals?
Setting your goals effectively
Setting goals is not about waking up one morning and deciding that you want to run faster in a race just because that is what you feel should happen. Instead, you should be able to make SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time Bound.
It is important to set specific goals and plan how to achieve them to successfully complete your triathlon training. This is because the more specific you get, the greater the chance of achieving it. For instance, instead of setting a goal to become a better swimmer, you could set a goal to decrease your swim time by 10 seconds. In this way, you will be able to come up with ways and tactical skills to achieve just that. Specific goals should therefore describe exactly what you want to achieve, how, when, with whom, where and so forth.
The term measurable here means that the results that you achieve should be the ones that you can see, hear and feel. In other words, your achievements should be backed up by sound evidence otherwise. How can you continue to invest your energy and time in training that you can’t know was successful or not? For instance, you cannot say that you feel healthier or happier as a result of your triathlon training; instead, you should talk about how far you were able to run or if you were able to decrease your swimming time.
If the goals that you set are impossible to achieve you will likely become frustrated when you fail to meet them and as a result abandon the entire venture. You may have been told several times that you should aim for the stars, and there is nothing wrong with tackling things that may seem impossible. In this case it is better to set both short and long term goals. Each smaller goal will drive you toward a larger milestone and with each success you’ll gain the impetus to keep going.
You don’t want to set and achieve goals that will not help you in any way. This may sound like common sense, but many people can become distracted from their original goals. Focus is key to maintaining your intensity and ensuring your time is well spent. To know whether your goals are relevant or not, you should ask yourself the following questions:
- Why do you want to achieve a certain goal?
- What is the objective behind it?
Every goal that is set should have a time limit that is realistic and flexible at the same time. You cannot simply set a goal to lose 30 pounds of weight and leave it at that. By when do you intend to do that, in 3 days, 6 months or 5 years? Setting a deadline to close can result in failure to meet your goal and once again lead to frustration. Setting a deadline too far in the future won’t provide the motivation you need to keep going.
At Tailwind Endurance, we understand that the process of setting and achieving your goals can be challenging, and that is why we help you diagnose what your triathlon training goals should be and help you to achieve them. Whatever the reason that you want to participate in triathlon; to improve your overall health, to be more energetic, lose weight or improve your mood or focus and much more, setting your SMART goals is paramount in achieving them. Check out Tailwind and book in for training today!