How to Pick and Stick to Your Race Goals

Last year's race season has long since ended, you've earmarked competitions for next year and you've even started your base training. It's winter—the perfect time to look back, forward and think about how much better you can be this season.

But what does "better" mean? And more importantly, what should you be doing between now and the start of the season to get "better?" 

Getting Started

If you're going to use the winter season to set goals, you should first know what constitutes an appropriate one. The right kind of goal is one that provides direction and enhances motivation. 

It's important to set attainable, yet challenging goals, as you always want to stretch yourself to reach them. Easy goals don't require enough discipline to be meaningful and can end up promoting low motivation, resulting in minimal satisfaction. On the other hand, small, specific goals can yield big results.

MoreHow to Set Inspiring Goals

All of this, however, presupposes that you know where you are and where you are headed.

Look at Your Ranking

At the end of each racing season, look back at your results and determine where you ranked against the field in each discipline (swim/bike/run). 

Triathlon and duathlon race results provide easy feedback for this calculation. If you find that your bike split is consistently slower against the field than your swim and run were, then target that area for specific attention in your training. 

Be careful to set your goal with a personal training focus (to build more strength on hills) and not based on how you finish versus your competition (to make the top ten at nationals). 

More7 Pitfalls to Avoid When Setting Goals

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About the Author

Karen Buxton

Karen Buxton is Level-III USA Triathlon certified coach with over 25 years of coaching experience and author of The Triathlete's Guide to Off-Season Training. Coach Buxton works with athletes of all abilities online and in person. Find out more about Coach Buxton at www.coachbuxton.com or contact her at karen@coachbuxton.com and take the next step towards targeted training for maximum benefits.

Karen Buxton is Level-III USA Triathlon certified coach with over 25 years of coaching experience and author of The Triathlete's Guide to Off-Season Training. Coach Buxton works with athletes of all abilities online and in person. Find out more about Coach Buxton at www.coachbuxton.com or contact her at karen@coachbuxton.com and take the next step towards targeted training for maximum benefits.

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