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Planning the New Year

At this time of year there is always a lot of debate about New Year’s Resolutions. Some people make them every year, and some lobby against them every year. We don’t want to get in the middle of that argument. However, whether you are in the resolution camp or not, it is still great to plan out your cycling season and set goals.

The first step in laying out the season is to pencil any events, training camps or races you are looking at doing into a calendar. You can use any format you like – iCal, weekly calendar, monthly calendar. Sit down with your computer and calendar, look up all the dates and add them in. If you’re using a program like iCal you can make a cycling specific calendar. It can be a fun process, as you get to see what fun you have to look forward to on your bike.

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Lay out your events electronically…
…or on paper.

Often if you just have your calendar in your head, you don’t have a very realistic idea of what your event blocks look like. Once you’ve written everything down, you’ll be able to see how much time you are committing to events, how much time you have to train and how the events fall in with the rest of life. The reality in black and white isn’t usually what you thought it was.

By making a plan for the season you can see what will be realistic and be able to lay out reasonable goals from there. One of the goal setting terms that gets shared around quite a bit is the concept of setting SMART goals. If you haven’t come across this term before it basically means that goals need to be SpecificMeasurableAttainableReasonableTime-based. Before you can design your goals to meet those targets you need to have an idea of what your calendar looks like.

For example, say you have registered for Granfondo Axel Merckx on July 12th. Once you pencil that into your calendar, you realize that you are going to be gone on a family vacation for the two weeks prior to the event – and you promised your bike wouldn’t be coming along.

What to do?

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do the Fondo, it just means you need to adjust your goals. Don’t put pressure on yourself to be in the lead group – go and have a great time on your bike. As you fill out more of your calendar you may come to realize that you will have a three-week block at home to train before the Whistler Gran Fondo. By filling out your calendar and seeing how the time blocks out, you can adapt your goals. In this scenario you could make Whistler Gran Fondo your performance goal and use the Granfondo Axel Merckx as a practice run and get to enjoy the Okanagan scenery.

Or, say you have registered for a training camp in Hawaii in February. When you booked it back in November, that seemed like a long time away and you haven’t bothered to get on your bike too much lately.  Now that you have had the chance to sit down and plan out your calendar you realize that there are only 6 weekend between now and that training camp. Maybe it’s time to drag the bike out! Otherwise the training camp is likely to be a little bit less enjoyable.

Having your 2015 events or training camps in your calendar can be a great source of motivation and also something to look forward to when you are paging through your calendar trying to figure out what all you have on your plate.

Hopefully you have some great events planned for 2015 and we’ll see you at a few of them!