Every week, Alison Powers and her fellow ALP Cycles coaches — Jennifer Sharp and Patricia Schwager —share their experience, stories and advice with Ella readers in a ‘Weekly Wisdom’ training tips column. Additionally, once a month, Alison will respond to your training, riding or racing questions.
Got a question for Alison and her team? Simply post your question in the comments below or send it to us on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtags #weeklywisdom or #askalp.
– Anne-Marije Rook
How do I set goals?
“Fail to plan and you plan to fail.” This saying has more importance than you realise.
In order to be successful at anything in life, especially sports, you must plan for it. Amongst other things, you must plan out your race schedule, your training schedule and your training times. Then you must plan on the best way to make everything happen. “Winging it” only works for so long. The best athletes are the ones who have planned their success.
What’s the first step in this planning process? Goal setting. You must set realistic yet challenging goals to keep you motivated and on track.
An example of a goal would be: “My goal is to eat healthy.”
This a great goal but how do you eat healthy? What are the steps to eating healthy and how do you know if you are doing it? What I’m getting at is that you must break your goals down into more simple goals and tasks. If your goal can be broken down, you are not finished making it.
In order to eat healthy, you need to know what eating healthy means. A better set of goals would be:
– “I will buy more fruits and vegetables to have on hand at home for snacking and adding to meals.” And
– “I will stay away from highly processed (packaged, sugar filled) foods and buy more natural and whole foods that have not been processed or preserved.” And
– “After every hard training ride, I will make and drink a recovery drink followed by a healthy snack/meal to help me recover for tomorrow’s workout.”
This same goal setting goes for racing and training. Do you know what you’re training for and why you’re doing what you’re doing? Is it specific to accomplishing your goal? You should know exactly what you’re training for (your goal), and, from there, you should break it down into smaller pieces and train for each piece.
Goal setting is a process. Goals have to be broken down, and down, until all you have to do is follow the steps.
Plan to succeed.
Your questions for Alison or any of the other ALP Cyles coaches don’t need to be limited to the topic at hand. Ask them anything! Post your question in the comments below or send it to us on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtags #weeklywisdom or #askalp.
ALP Cycles Coaching is a Boulder-based coaching company with three female coaches at the helm: Alison Powers, Jennifer Sharp and Patricia Schwager.
Each coach brings her own coaching strengths and personal experiences. Roading racing, track, endurance mountain biking, time trialling, making the leap to living and racing in Europe – they’ve got you covered. Find out more about Alison Powers and her Alp Cycles coaching company at here.