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4 Tips for setting cycling goals

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  • By Ryan Cook
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Here are some tips to make and keep your cycling goals for 2018

It's New Years and most people out there are setting New Year's resolutions about how much weight they will lose or how many miles they are going to ride their bike or what famous people they want to meet.   Let's face it though most of these resolutions won't last more than 2 weeks, sad but true.  In fact the University of Scranton found that only 8% of people who make New Year's resolutions actually keep them.  So how do you make and keep a cycling goal.  Here are some tips that I have used to help keep my cycling goals.

 

Set realistic goals

How many times do we start out the New Years by saying "This year I will bike 5000 miles and do 20 races and take all of the KOMs in Utah county."  Only to find out shortly there after that this goal was way too unrealistic, that there is no way you have the time to do this.  The key is to set something that will stretch you but still is atainable.  One thing I do each year is I pull up my Strava account and look at how many miles I biked last year then I review my other goals (non cycling) and see what is realistic.  What can I do to ride more?  Can I commute more?  Wake up early?  If the answer is yes, then I set my goal to be higher than last year but usually only by about 10 to 15%.  If the answer is no then I set a goal that is reasonable with my other commitments.  I always stretch myself as much as I can with my other responsibilities.

 

Sign Up for an Event

This is my secret weapon to cycling domination!  I have found that if I sign up for an event that I work and train to get ready for the event.  If I don't sign up for an event then the level of my commitment is definitely lower.  If there is an event looming over my head even if its raining and cold I will still push myself "cause hey I got that event in 3 weeks and I don't want to be last."  I recommend signing up for your events now.  Most event companies also offer big discounts if you sign up early.

 

Find ways to make yourself accountable

Along the same lines of signing up for an event, finding ways to keep yourself accountable will help.  There are several ways you can do this such as, sign up for a cycling club, hire a coach, write down your goals and look at them often.  Find something or someone that will give you more motivation to complete your goal.

I have found that Strava has really helped me with this.  I will set an hourly goal for each month at the beginning of the year.  I then look at that hourly goal each month and compare it to the Strava calendar view which shows me how many rides and hours I have ridden that month.  I check this a couple times a month and it really helps me to find ways to get more rides in.

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Set intermediate goals

Set a big goal but break up your goal into small chunks.  If your goal is you want to ride 5000 miles then figure out how many miles you are going to do each month.  Think through that to, don't just say I am biking 416 miles a month, when you know in January this is going to be a pain.  Plan it say I am going to bike 200 miles in January and then do 600 in June.

The key with any goals is to plan how you are going to accomplish them.  Know your weakness and how you are going to overcome them is a crucial part of any plan.  Cycling is one of the best ways to stay in shape and have fun and by planning how you will do more will lead to a funner healthier life.

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