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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Coach Tip #1: Goal Setting as an Effective Training Tool

Spring – the beginning of a new cycling season. If you haven’t done it already, it’s time to start thinking about getting back on your bike! But before you do, have you thought about what you would like to achieve this year? Whether you be a recreational rider or a racer (or something in-between), effectively setting goals for this year’s cycling season can not only inspire motivation, but it can also increase personal satisfaction and confidence.

 To define a primary goal for this year, think about what you would like to achieve – something that stretches you but still realistic and within reach. Examples of goals may be any of the following: ride a half-century (50 miles) without injury, lose 10 pounds, upgrade to the next racing category, or increase 2 minute sprint power 15%. Whatever you choose, remember to set clear goals that are measurable, under your control, and positive.

 After identifying your primary goal, break it down in simpler steps and develop a training plan. For example, riding a half-century must first start with becoming comfortable with a 20 mile ride. Write these steps down! Not only will these manageable goals give you a clear path to the final outcome, but they will also allow you to evaluate your progress periodically throughout the season. Whatever you set as your 2008 goal(s), remember cycling should be fun! That’s why you bought your bike, right?

 Daniel is a sales associate at the Chevy Chase store, licensed USA Cycling coach, and member of the Artemis Racing team (sponsored by City Bikes). Questions or comments may be directed to dan@citybikes.com.

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