Setting Race Goals

Last night I headed out to Falls Church for Tri360’s clinic: Big Goals for 2013 Panel. Tri360 is a new triathlon store in the area that I’ve wanted to check out for awhile, and it’s very cool. The space is awesome and they’ve got a great assortment of bikes and gear for all three disciplines as well as a service area for bike repairs and maintenance.

I’ve been biking a bit lately since I haven’t been able to run and am really enjoying it. I haven’t done a triathlon in years, mostly because I got frustrated with the fact that I’m not very good at either the swim or bike portions. I’ve been thinking about giving it another go though when I get back into running, so I have some other outlets to keep me from overdoing it on the running right away.

Tri360 put together a great panel of professional and elite triathletes, an elite cross/mountain biker, an Ironman finisher and a swim/run coach resulting in some really good advice and an info-packed discussion. They talked about setting realistic goals based on your fitness level and time to train to avoid burnout and set yourself up for your best chance at success.

The panelists reminded us that goals don’t just have to be about your finish time or place, but can focus on other things like improvement and attitude. It’s also helpful to have training goals and to document your progress so you can look back and see how far you’ve come. Set your goals based on what’s right for you, not based on a competition with someone else – especially if you’re not at comparable fitness levels.

A big theme of the night was achieving balance between training and the rest of your life. Family, friends and work shouldn’t suffer because of your training. Having family or friends that don’t participate in swim, bike and run with you can be really beneficial – sometimes you need to “step out of the bubble”. They also talked about remembering to have fun and the reasons why you do this. If you’re not having any fun then what’s the point.

I really enjoyed the clinic and loved the store. I’ll definitely be back!

Other than the 2013 Marine Corps Marathon, I’m still planning out my race goals for next year. Let me know what your big goals are for next year in the comments!