Tri Diva Reunion Event? Hell, yeah!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Goal Setting

By Bob Seebohar

Goal setting is very important for athletes because goals serve as markers of success and increase positive reinforcement through the immediate feedback provided during each training session.

We have specific goals for each training session you will do, which will help you by allowing you to focus on the "why" behind what you are doing. If you do not have a specific purpose for each training session, it will usually result in very little physical improvement and could lead to overtraining by adding "junk" miles.

There are different types of goals:

● "Training session" goals are the specific objectives associated with each training session you will do. Whether it is focusing on form, training at a faster pace, or practicing proper nutrition strategies, each training session should have a specific purpose.

● "Short-term" goals are those that are set in the near future of months to a year in time. Short-term goals are important to identify because the attainment of these goals provides a hierarchical sense of mastery and success that builds self-confidence.

● "Long-term" goals are those that are set longer in the future (years) and are just as important as short-term goals. Long-term and short-term goals are interdependent, that is, long-term goals provide a sense of meaningfulness for pursuing short-term goals.

● "Process goals" are those that you have control over. Examples include specific swim, bike, and run times for a race.

● "Outcome goals" are those that you have little control over such as winning a race. This may be a top priority but defining markers, or process goals, along the way or during the race will prove to be more successful than defining one outcome goal.

Racing and goal setting are interdependent. They are both a process in which rewards are gained along the way. Think of it as a journey of process goals that are directed towards improving health, becoming more fit, and improving performance. The important thing to keep in mind is that process goals are for you to focus on which you have control over, thus ensuring a higher rate of success.

Every training session should have a goal associated with it and you, as an athlete, should know this goal before stepping out the door to train. The better you can define the purpose or goal of a training session, the more attainable your process goals will be and in the long term, your short- and long-term goals.

Focus on the journey and enjoy the ride!


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