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Setting goals is great, however it can be a disappointing experience if you don’t reach that end goal up to the expectations you’ve set for yourself. A shift in perspective is all it takes to see everything in a new light. Sometimes setting smaller goals that focus on the “process” is a better bet than focusing on goals that lead to an “outcome“.
In bike racing, there are so many things that can go wrong that are outside of your control that could very easily negate your “podium finish” goal (or whatever it may be). There’s no doubt you’ll be disappointed. However, if you put less emphasis on that end goal and start placing more weight on smaller goals in your journey (i.e. training and lead-up races) you’ll likely end up much more satisfied. At the end of the day you’ll probably do better in your final event because the self-pressure will be off and you’ll come in with a much more relaxed attitude.
Cycling is a tough sport (the most difficult sport I’ve ever competed in) and I’ve found that you’ll be disappointed many more times than you’ll be elated if you guage your performance based on race results. I believe that people’s longevity in the sport of cycling has a lot to do with enjoying the ride rather than the need to win races. No matter who you are, you’ll eventually stop winning.