Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Everyone Who Races Needs Goals and Focus
I have a problem, unlike many others who like to race -- I want to do it all. My head wants to do this one, do that one, even do two in one weekend! I want to be top point scorer in Rivertown Race series, I want to do Xterras, I want, I want, I want. .. but my body is telling me something much, much different. In my search to figure out what the heck is going on, I believe part of my problem is focusing and goal setting. Mr. Laub said a long time ago at the beginning of one of the race seasons, "What are your goals, what's your focus?" And those simple words spell out and answer many questions. This article, the Creative Athlete, is a good, relatively short and informative read. There are short, mid, and long term goals. The short and mid are what most of us weekend warriors focus on. The long-term goals, in this article, are for the elite -- what if I go Pro, what could I acheive? Most of my friends have goals -- the Weisers want to do the Wild 100, and a 12-hour adventure race. So their training is focused on long, endurance-type events (i.e., the 12 hours of Lodi, some of the 50-milers MASS is holding). Chrissy has her sites set on Xterras this year; thus, she's swimming/biking/and running like a superstar (of course having an almost-pro ironman-caliber triathlete to train with and get some mojo from certainly helps!). My Mountainside buddies have an easy focus -- win bike races, so they bike, bike and bike some more. Me? Like I said earlier, I want to do it all. And that's certainly not much of a focus is it now. I want to do long stuff (cause its slower), I want to do Xterras (cause you don't have to train as much and put in the hours AND they have appropriate age groups for oldster women), I want to kayak (but that doesn't do much for the other stuff I want to do). ARGH! All the while, my training and performance is suffering. There's no structure, no focus. There's no training plan, there's no goal to acheive. I muddle through a training week hoping I at least get through the week -- hoping I get the hours in, but ignore the most important part of training: focusing on what your goals are -- 'cause I don't have any! Occassionally, I think about getting my heart rate up wehreby if I had a "real" training plan, my HR would have been up quite a bit the past month. Instead, it goes up every now and then, wipes me out for a couple days, then I get frustrated and think about quiting 'cause I wonder if I'm too old or whatever. Geez. When I took up mountain biking 7 years ago, I did for one reason: to lose weight and to be as fit as possible by age 50. My first goal was accomplished and I have racing through the years to help for that. I have 1.5 years to go to accomplish the 2nd goal. I felt super fit two years ago when the weight was down, I was hitting the weightroom 3 times a week and I wasn't putting in super-long training hours. Today, I just feel a mess. Even this morning, my head was swimming with what to do the weekend of May 17 and 18. There are 3 events, and I simply can't decide which to do. I've told Chrissy about 100 times now I'm doing the Xterra, no I'm not, ok I'll do it, no I'm not. I think I have some focusing to do. This article on goal setting was a good start for me too... it asks things like do I enjoy what I'm doing? Am I willing to put in the hours it may take? I'm already have a couple ideas in my head. I'll be back with a plan. Of course, I just realized, I had a plan at the beginning of the year and didn't follow it... there was definitely a break-down somewhere. Doh!