I'm going to write up my goals for 2014 before I actually write up my race schedule, which is normally the opposite of what most people do. Part of the reason for this is because I haven't finalized my race schedule (I know, bad), but the other part is I want to look at my goals as independently as I can without linking them to races. There are definitely some goals that are associated with specific races, but I also want some that have nothing to do with a certain date, race, place, etc
I'm a strong believer in setting goals for yourself. I work in sales and many people in my industry have a quota and sales goals. I never understand being excited to hitting quota. It's always something I hear when I interview people, see resumes, hear for year end results/reports. But it just doesn't make sense. First off, a quota is an arbitrary number that someone has put together with (usually) no rhyme or reason. They pick a number out of the blue, and can usually justify it by saying its an increase by X percentage. But that's it. Also, in my mind, achieving quota is not a milestone. Its the lowest possibly expectation placed on me. Quota is exactly that. An expectation. So when I set my sales goals for my company, I typically look at specific situations and set individual goals based on those situations. For example, I recently changed companies. My new company hired me to put on a sales force from an area that had no sales previously. How can anyone set a quota with sales numbers when no one knows what the region will look like? How can someone tell me that I need to bring in X worth of dollars each month if they don't know what its going to take to get business? It makes no sense. What I do is look at each part of my region and dissect it based on how I plan on tackling it. I might set a goal of converting a surgeon or hospital in a market, or might set a goal of hiring 4 sales people by a certain date. Those are specific goals that will eventually lead to success and me "hitting my quota".
I plan on doing that with my racing goals for the year.
1) Stay healthy- This sounds pretty obvious, and I have been lucky the past 2 years where I have been healthy, but we all know injuries happen. I plan on doing everything I can to keep my body healthy and have the ability to train, compete, and recover properly.
2) Learn how to effectively train with power- As you know, I recently got both a power meter for my bike and a power trainer. I want to make sure I utilize these tools the most I can. For me to have these expensive tools is great, but if I'm not using them in the most effective way then I am wasting money. I have my FTP already set up, but I want to be able to increase my FTP by 10 watts over the next 6 months. I think it's doable but I'll have to work hard and use my tools
3) Have fun- Leo and I always go at each other during the race season. I think he should push harder and he thinks I should enjoy my time more. I learned a valuable lesson last year in Maine. Enjoying the race makes it go by faster, easier, and its not as sucky. I want to take a page out of Leo's book and enjoy the process more. My favorite race moment last year was crossing the finish line with Riley in arms. I want to have more moments like that this year
4) Place in the top 5 of Age Group Series in Knoxville- Last year I qualified for the Rev3 Age Group Championship series race in May and my current placing is 9th in the country. I know at least one of the athletes ahead of me is not competing in the championship race, so that means I'm started with a placement of 8th. I want to move up at least 3 spots with a strong performance in May to get a podium finish for the entire series. Notice I didn't say, place in the race, have a time goal, etc. I don't know the course, the athletes competing, or anything yet. But I want to make sure I have a good enough showing where I can leapfrog a few athletes for the entire year's standings.
5) Run a sub 3:10 NYC Marathon- I decided that I'm going to run NYC this year even though I said I don't have a desire to run any more marathons for a long time. After this years race, the wife and I figured out that this would probably be the last year I could run it for a while. We live on the marathon course. Things couldn't get any easier, and since we think we'll probably move out of NYC within the next year or 2, we have no idea when I could run it again. That leaves this year as the last time I could run it as a NYC resident. In addition to that, I want to re qualify for Boston. I'm in a nice spot this year. Since NYC is after registration for next year's Boston, I actually age up for the 2016 race. This means my qualifying time gets slower by 5 minutes. Instead of having to run a 3:05 marathon, I can safely run a 3:10 marathon and get my BQ. It's kind of getting 5 free minutes because of my age up
6) Podium finish in at least 1, if not more of my races- This is always the goal, but I think there a few races that I'm planning on doing where I have the ability to do extremely well. I know its who shows up on that specific day, but I also look at previous years times and look how I would do on that course. I think the one race I have the best chance that I know I'm doing this year is the Toughman Tri in September.
7) Raise awareness for the products that I'm partnered with. I love all the brands that support me. I'd love to bring in more customers or opportunities for them. Getting free products are great, but these brands expect something from me, and I want to make sure I hold up my part of that commitment. Plus, the more awareness those products get, the more support they can give.
8) Plan a 2015 race so the wife can enjoy the trip- I want the wife to have a say where we go on some of these trips, so maybe a race in Hawaii in 2015, or somewhere in Europe or Caribbean? Since 2015 race planning is done in 2014, especially ones that require travel, my goals is to work with the wife to make sure she is happy.
9) Run a race with the wife- The wife has been saying for 4 years that she would run either a 5k or 4 mile race (she doesn't know which is longer). Yet, every year she never signs up and always gets out of it. This year, I plan on making her stick to her promise and running a race. I'll do it with her, but she has to do one.
10) Not fight with Leo- As I've said previously, Leo is my training/racing wife. We fight all the time. About everything from what races, to how hard to train, to what to wear, to where to stay or eat. Seriously, we bicker like Grumpy Old Men. My goal (and this is probably the most difficult one I'm going to set) is to not fight with Leo this year about anything related to racing. Other things, game on. Just not about training or racing.
11) Learn more about my abilities and how to use them- I train very hard. Sometimes too hard. I want to make sure I learn how to workout properly so I don't have to cut a workout short because I worked too hard the day before or earlier in the workout. I know I am an above average runner, but how can I use this in my training? Can I focus more on swimming and cycle and use my natural running abilities? I want to make sure I am learning more this year so as the years go on, I'm not making the same mistakes over and over again. I learned a lot in 2013, but I want to use this info and build on it.
I have more goals for the year and some of these are very broad, but I think for me to put these down, everyone can see them and hold me accountable. Other goals are just for me and I'll continue to work on them and reevaluate changes that need to be made, but I'll start with these. If I'm not changing my goals throughout the season, then something is wrong. I plan on making sure I strive for these, but also work on continuing to progress them