Sunday, January 2, 2011

Are your 2011 Cycling Goals achievable?

If you haven't already made your cycling goals for 2011- there's probably not a better time than NOW.  However, before making your goal(s)..ensure that they are achievable.  There's not a recreational cyclist I know that doesn't want to be racing in a higher Category than what they're already racing in (unless they're enjoying being a sandbagger).  The problem is, a lot of these cyclists have no idea HOW to reach their goals.  Even if they do know how, I'm willing to bet that 90% never achieve them because they don't put the time (and hard work) in that's required to achieve those goals.  There's always some kind of excuse or reason such as: work, family, travel, health issues, etc.  I'm not saying that these things aren't legitimate reasons for not being able to stay on your 2011 cycling training plan.  They are!  What I am saying is: if you know that these things are legitimate concerns then they should be considered as part of your goal setting/making.

Let me give you an example.  Say a Cat 3 road racer is making Cat 2 a 2011 goal/objective.  Assume, the Cat 3 roadie currently averages approx. 6-10 hrs. per week of training. i.e. comprised of a 3 hr. ride at least once on the weekends and at least three to four 1 hr. training rides during the week.  Can the Cat 3 roadie reach Cat 2 by putting in the same amount of hours per week?  Probably not.  According to most reputable cycling sources, the average Cat 2 roadie puts in anywhere from 15-25 hrs. of training in per week each year.  That's a lot of training hours..especially around here (Doylestown, PA) in the Winter.  So, at the low end (15 hrs) of the training requirement we're talking at least two 2-3 hr. rides on the weekends and 9 hrs. of work during the week.  That's almost 2 hrs. per day during the week.  Does the Cat 2 wannabe have that much time with 2-3 small kids, a job that keeps him/her on the road 2 weeks out of the month, someone prone to winter colds, etc.?  Probably not.  Does the Cat 2 wannabe also know that the average power output of a Cat 2 racer is a lot higher (4.6 w/kg compared to 4.0) for a Cat 3 racer?  Even if the Cat 3 roadie knows all they know how to train correctly?  Most don't.  I just hear a lot of cyclists (that I don't coach) say, "well who the hell has that time to train during the week with a full-time job, 3 kids, a house to maintain, etc."?  Hey, not my problem.  You're the one that wants to be a Cat 2 roadie.
If you've already set your goals for 2011 just make sure they're realistic.  If not, then you're only setting yourself up for failure.  You can always change your goals..they're not set in stone.  Just make sure you have the time that's required to achieve your goal, that you've made a realistic training plan, and that you're committed/dedicated to seeing your training plan through.  Most importantly, make sure you know how to get there (to your goal).  If you don't know how to get there..hire a coach.  I'm sure they'll not only help you get there, they'll help you get there faster. 

Power ON!  Coach Rob

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