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A slow road back, so what's next?

Posted on August 16 2017

Last post I discussed a few tips to help those of you returning from illness or injury get back on track. We discussed doing what you can, gradually increasing your load and intensity and keeping focus towards the goal of better fitness.

Well, it's been a couple of weeks, and despite feeling a little like I have been hit by a sledgehammer (endurance miles + shift work can have that effect at times) I can slowly feel myself getting a little stronger.

So what's next? While I try and work towards, and beyond, my best time on a local berg (which was once 20min, and last time I checked was much closer to 25min...), I have looked to other goals in order to maintain my focus, and dry my tears up about still plugging away in slow mode.

Ahh fitness, you never truly know you've got it until it's gone!

Imo of MarathonMTB wrote a great article here, which goes through various goals and how to apply the goal setting process to have better outcomes in your racing. It's worth a read, it's quite excellent (though she poo-pooh's the SMART goal setting acronym, which I believe is actually an excellent way to set some performance goals...it's just that noone seems to actually take the time and set goals this way!).

So what does my goal-setting look like?

In the immediate future, my goals include completing my strength sessions and lactate sessions with various goals within them (ie: maintaining threshold heart rate for the entirety of the 2x10min climbs). Even just completing training as proposed is a great goal, and allows you as an athlete to go back and look at the hard work put in to attain a greater fitness. If you're nervous before a big race having a look through previous training is a great way to reinforce what you already know; that you have done the work and you're totally ready for this.

Another goal I had coming back from surgery was to race the Hairy Mary 3hr, it's a race for women only up in Gympie, and by the time it comes around I will have had a modest month's worth of training in. In order to have a good race here, I have kept my goals pretty meagre; ride the entire distance, use the descents to my advantage and keep focussed when climbing. I also have mental focus goals for the day, which includes music and specific tactics if I become derailed.

Hopefully the body will remember how it goes!

Having managed a 4hr ride a week or so ago, with 2200mts elevation, I am feeling pretty content that I can finish the Hairy Mary, so in due time a goal revision may be in order.

So what about other goals?  More long term event goals for me include the National Series race in Victoria, National Champs and Oceanias. Long term power goals include hitting certain numbers at certain times. Other long term goals include reducing lean body mass slightly.

So when you talk about 'goals' a lot more can go into it than "I want to do well at this race". Essentially that's a bit of a blanket term that doesn't really allude to a whole lot. Break it down. Have a few goals, and get awesome.

Happy riding xo