General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Setting a 2 year goal...advice needed from those that have done that! Rss Feed  
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2013-07-28 5:05 PM

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Subject: Setting a 2 year goal...advice needed from those that have done that!
Sooooo...I have decided on a two year plan. Next summer I am going to volunteer at IM CDA 2014 and then sign up and actually do IM CDA 2015--it'll be my bday gift to myself as I'll just be turning 45. I plan to do another 70.3 next summer as well.

How does a person keep the motivation going for two years? I love the Tri lifestyle--the training, keeping fit, etc, but I have never set such a long term goal. I think of Olympic athletes who have a 4 year goal and wonder how they do it...is there a mental mantra they repeat? Any advice, strategies, motivation tips would really be appreciated from those of you who have done this type of long range goal setting! Thanks!


2013-07-28 5:28 PM
in reply to: ingleshteechur

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Subject: RE: Setting a 2 year goal...advice needed from those that have done that!
I think the best thing to do is to set interim goals that you want to achieve. How about setting a goal of a fall half marathon this year, or a spring/early summer half IM next year?
2013-07-28 6:05 PM
in reply to: #4815171

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Subject: RE: Setting a 2 year goal...advice needed from those that have done that!
My IM was basically a 2-year goal. But that being said I didn't ever think of it like that. I wanted to do 3 HIM's before I started IM straining and those are big races by themselves plus they were spaced out. Then I started IM training and that goes by pretty quickly because you're busy.
2013-07-28 6:13 PM
in reply to: ingleshteechur

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Subject: RE: Setting a 2 year goal...advice needed from those that have done that!
I agree with everyone on interim goals. last year I watched IMWI and decided I wanted to volunteer in 2013 and register for 2014. I set some interim goals of a couple half-irons this summer and a fall marathon.
2013-07-28 7:17 PM
in reply to: Daffodil

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Subject: RE: Setting a 2 year goal...advice needed from those that have done that!
Originally posted by Daffodil

I think the best thing to do is to set interim goals that you want to achieve. How about setting a goal of a fall half marathon this year, or a spring/early summer half IM next year?


I find this to be a good approach to everything really. I'm in the middle of a three year tri goal plan; year 1 just get out there, year 2 -2.5 qual for 70.3 worlds, year 3 qual for Kona. In between there's always been sub goals such as BQ, sub 4:45 HIM, sub 17 5k etc. The times are pretty irrelevant but you get the idea. This way there's always something on the horizon to keep pushing for. I'm hoping to kick that sub 4:45 HIM next weekend and then it's onto a faster HIM in Oct and pushing towards a fast HM in December. Don't look too far down the road but also don't forget what the destination is.
2013-07-28 7:47 PM
in reply to: ingleshteechur

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Subject: RE: Setting a 2 year goal...advice needed from those that have done that!
Having a 2 year goal is great! Especially for an IM. That's the best way to go about focying on long course races with minimizing the risk of injury and burnout.

That said, as others have mentioned it's easy to burn out and lose focus of that race if it's 2 years away. So plan your years with some races - sprints, oly, 1/2, 10k, half marathons, etc. Anything to keep you focuses short term (every 2-3 months) but that will be productive towards your IM goals.

Good luck!


2013-07-29 12:29 AM
in reply to: tzcoaching

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Subject: RE: Setting a 2 year goal...advice needed from those that have done that!
Just repeating what everyone is saying, but yes, set interim goals.

As with any long term goals, whether they be fitness related or anything else, you need lots of small milestones along the way to keep you on track. That way you stay focused and and have things to celebrate along the way.
2013-07-29 7:06 AM
in reply to: ingleshteechur

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Subject: RE: Setting a 2 year goal...advice needed from those that have done that!
I have the same goal! Volunteer in 2014 and race it in 2015! Good luck!
2013-07-29 7:50 AM
in reply to: ingleshteechur

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Subject: RE: Setting a 2 year goal...advice needed from those that have done that!
Cool!

FYI, CdA doesn't sell out as quickly as other M-dot races, so you don't *need* to be onsite one year to sign up for the next, but thank you for doing so anyways.

CdA is a wonderful town and you should have a great Ironman experience. I did.

As for goals, I think you already *have* set long term goals like you are asking about.

You are a teacher. How did you get your job? Yup, you got your degree, which was a multi-year goal! What did it take to buy/build your house? That might also have been a multi-year goal.

The first step is to identify *why* you want to do IMCdA? Are you satisfying some internal drive? Seeking to fill some void you are experiencing? Because everyone else is doing it? Because someone else thinks you should do it?

The journey to the start line can be an incredible experience, and you may learn a lot about yourself and others in the process. You will have days where you feel on top of the world, and days where you can barely muster the energy to get out of bed. You will experience joy and doubt. You'll experience stress because IM training takes a big commitment in what is already a full life. Some chores will barely get done and others won't get done at all, and you'll need a strategy to reconcile these in your head.

The more specific you can be identifying the drive behind doing the race and setting goals (both for the race and for life leading up to the race), the easier it will be to determine when you have met those goals. Too often, we set nebulous and imprecise goals because we are afraid of not meeting them, and as a result, we may feel unsettled when we complete the race but still lack the satisfaction we expected for the accomplishment.

I've shared this in an old thread on the ironman forum. It isn't meant to disparage 15-16+ hour finishers, but it highlights what I'm saying. If your goal really is to finish an ironman, then the highest probability for doing so comes by targeting a 15-16 hour finish. Swim enough to be able to finish the swim in 2 hours. Target a 7.5 hour bike split, and then a 6 hour run split. Your training and race intensity will be low, so you're most likely to stay healthy (how do we get injured? We're pushing harder in training and racing and not getting enough rest.) Imagine doing a 6 hour/90 mile trainer ride. Why trainer? Why risk riding on the roads where you can fall or get hit by a car? (Again, if your goal is simply to finish, you want to maximize the likelihood of accomplishing that goal.) You can avoid much of the fatigue and overuse injuries that plague us.

But...this probably isn't going to feel satisfying because what you really want is to finish the race as fast as you can. Maybe you can envision a 13-hour race and you train to make that vision a reality. You are more likely to be injured and not start the race at all, and you are also more likely to experience something unsettling during the race (GI distress for example) with this more aggressive goal and the day can change in a heartbeat (mine did). I encourage people to be specific, and in my case, I was targeting a 12-hour finish. To do that, I knew I needed a 6-hour bike split and so I trained on the bike with that goal in mind (which meant I couldn't just putz around at 15 mph for 6 hours on training rides).

Keep in mind that your goals are YOUR GOALS and you must protect them from outside influences (good or bad).
2013-07-29 9:19 AM
in reply to: ingleshteechur

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Subject: RE: Setting a 2 year goal...advice needed from those that have done that!
A two year goal is like eating an elephant. You do it a bite at a time.

My advice is to start with where you are now, set some base line places, things like avg pace for R/B/S, longest ride/run/swim, things like that that you can keep track of, those are suggestions use whatever is a motivator for you. Then decide where you want to be, what your longest run/ride will be for your IM training, figure out your goal time, what paces will require you to reach that goal? Set those as some of your goals.

Then keep a monthly track of your progress towards reaching those goals and keep it written down somewhere so you can see how you are doing. A written out list of improvements that you can go to everytime you start to feel down or have a bad week can keep you motivated to push through bad mojo and show how far you have come if you hit a plateau or sufer a setback. Remember this is a two year goal it will not go smoothly things will pop up so if life happens and you have to take a few weeks off you will be ok and you will have a list of how much you have already improved to show you that you can do it.

Write out what you want your Ironman goals to be and post it somewhere, or multiple places, where you will see it everyday to remind you of why you are tired/up at 4am/getting back on the trainer (again). Have some fun with making the poster, I did one for boneisland HIM where I had a picture of the beach we swam on with my goal swim, picture of seven mile bridge with bike time goal and a picture of Duval St in Key West with my run and put it on the back of my front door so I saw it everytime I left my house.

Also give yourself some monthly goals to hit, if you ran x miles this month next month I want to run x+10%, small goals like that that lead to the accomplishment of the larger overall goal of completing Ironman. These smaller goals will give you victorites and a feeling of accomplishment that will keep pushing you through. Use your overall goals and break them up into achievable monthly goals, and they can be as simple as do some sort of S/B/R x # of days this month.
2013-07-29 10:00 AM
in reply to: Tripopo

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Subject: RE: Setting a 2 year goal...advice needed from those that have done that!
Mine was a 4 year goal; at 46 I decided I was going to do an IM at age 50. I had never done triathlon, so I laid out a plan to build from sprint, to oly, to HIM, then IM. Had some bumps along the way but held fast to the vision of crossing the finish line at IMLP 2011.

Some tricks:

Watching IM videos
Keeping course maps up on my cube walls
Being active on BT, especially on the IM forums and the race specific threads
Being "that guy" who let everyone know I was going to do an IM. Hard to bail when so many people are pulling for you. Also hard to bail when some people are secretly hoping you'll fail.

Best advice I can give, commit to the goal:

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits one-self, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.”

-William Hutchinson Murray


2013-07-29 11:05 AM
in reply to: ingleshteechur

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Subject: RE: Setting a 2 year goal...advice needed from those that have done that!
Thank you all for your great input! You've all given me excellent advice that I can use immediately. I've been living the tri lifestyle for 3 years now and have realized that triathlon is not so much about the race, but the day in and day out training and recovery. I am very visual so posting things in my workout room, in my classroom where I can see them will be a huge motivator.

McFuzz...as always, you have great wisdom! What you posted makes a lot of sense to me. I think I definitely need to have separate goals for each discipline. The swim will be the most challenging as I'm very limited on where I can swim, but I can make it work. I'll have to!

Thank you again for such great advice!
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