On Tuesday morning as I was driving to work, the radio presenter had listeners call in to share their reviews of 2011. Radio and television programmes are all reviewing 2011’s happening, international events, Iraq + Euro crisis + Middle East crisis etc. People of all walks of life (in their personal and professional lives) are taking stock of what has been achieved this past year, and setting new year resolutions and goals for 2012.
Why should we be any different when it comes to our Cycling Goals ?
I enjoy spending time developing and analysing my cycling goals and the associated process of developing and managing my plans to achieve those goals. I cannot imagine anything of significance being achieved by chance or without a goal.
My life as a cyclist started two years ago. At the time I was unfit, and a bit overweight, as I had stopped smoking 8 months earlier and the much publicised weight again had taken hold. My best friend, Sharief, had for months been inviting me to dust off my bike and join him on his Sunday morning club ride. So one weekend in October 2009 I rolled out my bike, lubed the chain, inflated the wheels and met his group for a ride. The ride started out pleasantly, the morning was fresh, the welcome was awesome, and the rolling of wheels as part of the peloton was soon to become my passion.
The first climb of the morning was Boyes Drive. After 200m up the base the reality of my unfit state hit home. My legs were burning and had seized to the extent that they would not work anymore. My chest was on fire and I was gasping for air. I had to turn around to take a detour route around the climb. By the end of the 2hr ride I was totally knackered. A day or 2 later, when I could walk again the seed to go out on the bike again the next week had been sown. When I called Sharief to plan the next group ride he told me that I needed to spend some time cycling on my own, to lose some weight, and to train to cycle faster so as not to hold up the group. And there was my first cycling challenge, and it gave rise to my first cycling goal, “To get cycling fit so as to be able to cycle with Sharief and his club mates by the end of 2009.”
I have learnt that goals must be SMART,
My Major Goal is to achieve a Top 20 position for my Age Group for Road Cycle Racing in South Africa by 2014. My seeding position as at Dec 2011 is 469/26742. Still some way to go :-)
It is good to have a 3-5 year goal as it provides a long term focus. Shorter term goals are however essential to ensure progress along the route and to keep motivated.
2011 Goal Review,
1. To race a Sub 3h30 Argus Cycle Race in Mach 2011
• Achieved a 3h24 race time, Age group position 670 / 3381
2. To race a Sub 2h45 Burger Cycle Race in December 2011
• Missed this goal by 7 minutes. See report
3. To qualify for 2012 Vet Age Group Summer League
• Missed this one due to Burger race above. I may still Qualify to race Vet Summer League with the Olympic Race on 08 January 2012. My Pedal Power seeding has improved from Group K to Group F this year, Group E is required to qualify for Vet Age Group Summer League . If I don't qualify for Vet League I will race in the Rising Stars League for Summer 2012.
Goals for 2012,
1. To race a Sub 3h00 Argus Cycle Race in March 2012 and or a Top 160 Age Group 40-44 position
2. To race a Sub 3h10 Knysna Cycle Race
3. To race in the 2012 Spring League Vet Age Group
4. To race a Sub 2h35 Burger Cycle Race in December 2012 and or a Top 50 Age Group 40-44 position
Setting of my goals on its own won’t get me there. A goal without a plan to achieve it is nothing more than a wish. And a plan without action is pointless.