It’s that time of year to start thinking about what goals you didn’t achieve in 2006 and what you plan to go after in 2007. It’s time to list your personal achievement goals. Your fitness goals. Your family goals. Financial, career, home improvements, monetary, community outreach, and….your triathlon goals. I had one tri goal for 2006 and I achieved it. That was to finish an Ironman. Ok, so I wasn’t altogether truthful there. I did have other tri goals so I’ll come clean right now.
First, I wanted to finish the Eagleman 70.3 in under 6 hours: Nope…..didn’t make it. My excuse? I was trying to stay in my HR zones as I prepared for Lake Placid. Plus, the swim conditions were horrible. Still in the end…there really was no excuse because I was in good shape. This goal is on my list again in 2007 as I go for breaking 6 hours for the 6th year in a row. I think I know what I have to do.
Second, I wanted to finish Lake Placid IM in 13.5 hours or less. Missed it by 1 hour. Excuse? The HR zones again. I really held back on the bike. I have a history of bonking on the run so I raced in fear of that following the guidance of some experienced Ironmen I know. I’m signed up for 2007 and this goal is again on my list. But the bottomline is that it was my first IM and I had a blast doing it!
I believe that goals and resolutions can be great motivators but you have to be careful. You don’t want to put down too many and you don’t want to make them too hard. (Disclaimer: I have no Doctorate in Psychology only a BA so I’m no expert. Take my words with big grains of salt.) Goals should be reasonable in order to achieve around 75-80% of them. You may want to try having varying degrees of goals. Maybe 2 that will be achievable with just a little extra effort or training that you normally do. Then 2 goals that might require you to really turn up that effort and commitment a notch or two. You can make these but it will definitely cause some pain and suffering to get there. And then make 1 Supreme Goal that will be really, really tough to achieve. If you make it then it’s your own private Olympic gold medal. If you don’t, then buy yourself a pint or two of Ben & Jerry’s because you put out a hell of an effort. And don’t be discouraged because there is always next year.
Remember, there will always be something that comes between you and your goals. Family life, injuries, work commitments, race conditions, etc. The list goes on and on. The important thing to remember is that unless you are paying the rent with triathlon prize money, this is all for fun. Training is really the ultimate reward because when you train for a triathlon, you will generally end up being in the best shape of your life. And that is definitely a great goal to achieve.