October 12, 2017
We all have areas that we would like to improve on for next year. Taking time out to contemplate what you would like to achieve in 2018, both in cycling and in life, and then writing it down, is very productive.
Your goals can be specific result focused goals or more process and internal goals. Writing down goals is very powerful and can sometimes lead to magical results. What’s just as powerful is to put your goals up where you can see them on a daily basis like on your mirror. We tend to forget our goals so having a visual reminder is powerful.
Seeking Continued Progress
Human beings are wired to seek continued progress which is a positive thing, but we should also take time to focus on the areas in which we did well in this past year. Let’s take some time to reflect on the things that we did really well and give ourselves a pat on the back! Whether it was training in a more disciplined way, having some breakthrough rides, or showing up for each ride ready and positive, give yourself some self love and a big “well done”.
Planning your Cycling Year
If your next year is likely to follow a similar flow to this past year, you can review the current year and use it for planning purposes. Look to see where you felt at your very best and put out some of your highest power, speeds, and best results and performances. What was your training regiment during that time? What was going on in your life? An online training diary like TrainingPeaks will provide you with a detailed history of your training that you can review and learn from. Duplicate the things that worked and observe and learn from the things that did not seem to work for you.
More is not always Better
We are inclined to think that we need to always build on last year, that we should add more training volume, more intensity, but that might not always be the best way forward to achieve additional improvements. If you often felt quite fatigued during the year and lacked motivation, you may be better off cutting back on the training volume and intensity or, alternatively, plan for more recovery blocks of 1-2 weeks a few times during the year. More is not always better and our body works in a cyclical manor where there is a down time to every up time. Working with and not against this natural flow of nature will support your progress longterm as well as your mental and physical well being.
Good Habits are the Foundation
Our human minds like to look to the future but what are you doing today to support your goals? Good habits are the foundation of your success.
Instilling good habits of training discipline, and learning to stay consistent with those habits, is the surest way to achieving your goals and new levels of cycling performance.