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Framing Cycling Goals

  • Improve your Cycling Experience
Framing Cycling Goals

Goal setting can be extremely beneficial, not just in cycling but in many areas of life. Poorly planned goals can have a negative effect and may end up leaving us feeling frustrated, disappointed in ourselves and unsatisfied. That said, most of us set goals once or twice a year, i.e. at New Year and around end June (halfway through the year). However, studies have shown that only 8% of people sustain their New Year’s resolutions, pointing to the face that most of us are perhaps getting something wrong. So, how do we set goals that we can stick to and achieve? Read on for more!

One word. SMARTER:

  • Specific: Setting specific goals directly equate to your chances of sticking to them, and succeeding. Conversely, loosely unspecific or vague goals, are likely to fail. For example - ‘I will ride 5 kilometers every day, and do a 15 kilometer ride on Saturdays” is a specific goal while “I will start riding regularly” is a vague goal.
  • Measurable: Setting a measurable goal (i.e. a particular distance, specific time, heart rate etc) is motivating and helps stick to achieving a goal. For example - “2 weeks before my 50km group ride, I will do a 30km ride in 1.5 hours.”
  • Achievable: While being challenging to you, goals have to be realistic and achievable. Too easy or too hard a goal and it could lead to demotivation. For example - “Work towards participating in the 50 kilometer race at the end of the season, with a scheduled training plan building up to the race” is an achievable goal. Where as, “participate in the 50 kilometre race the coming weekend” is not an ideal goal to have (unless you eat, sleep and breathe cycling).
  • Framing Cycling Goals-1
    Framing Cycling Goals-2

  • Relevant: To make achieving your goals easier, they have to be relevant to your life, values and interests. There is no point forcing yourself to do something you really hate, even if everyone’s doing it! For Example: If you hate indoor cycling, pushing yourself to do three ‘turbo’ sessions is likely to demotivate you since, being a forced activity. Instead, include focussed efforts during your weekly outdoor rides, and set a number to it, e.g.: 2 HIIT sessions, lasting 30 minutes each, per week.
  • Time-Dependant: This is fairly straightforward. Fix a definite time-frame in which you want to achieve your goal. For example: “ I will train to ride the 100 kilometre Sportive at the end of this year.”
  • Exciting: To succeed, your goal has to excite, energize and motivate you. There is no point otherwise. For example: “I want to participate in this year’s 50 kilometre Sportive and beat my time from last year’s performance.”
  • Re-evaluated: Re-evaluate your goals from time to time. If your goals are set too rigid, you are setting yourself up for failure. For example: “ I will ride 4 hours this Sunday, no matter what!” could be re-evaluated to “ I will ride this Sunday, either outdoors or indoors.” (Sometimes, unavoidable external factors could influence achieving your goals.)
  • Conclusion

    This should get you going with helping you frame and achieve goals. We are at the beginning of the second half of the year, so if you are off-track with your goals - use the SMARTER method and reset those goals you set out to achieve at the beginning of the year. Another thing I find that works well with framing goals and seeing them through is to write them down. So incorporate these ideas into your goal setting, and let us know if they help you! Keep Cycling!


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