Obviously, setting goals is a major "to do" when it comes to coaching endurance athletes. With 20+ years of experience, setting realistic goals that are attainable for each unique athlete has become more of a creative art.
At Athleticamps, we focus on two specific categories. More improtantly though, there is an underlying principle or philosophy that we apply to those two categories that help our athletes achieve them. We will discuss this principle later in the article. First, let's discuss the two categories:
- Event goals - Setting event goals are pretty straightforward. Perhaps you want to do a specific event like the Markleeville Death ride. Or you want to peak for a specific race or set of races. Basically looking at the calendar and giving yourself enough time is the primary prerequisite. And as a coach, making sure you are capable of those events is obviously important. For example, if a development racer says he wants to do the Tour de France next year, I would have to pat him on the back and say, "I like your enthusiasm, but let's set that one a bit longer out in the future" :-)
- Physiological or training goals - We believe there is a lot of value in tracking progress through performance testing (indoors) and data analysis (outdoors). A simple analogy would be businesses setting revenue and expense goals and reviewing them quarterly to see if they are on track or not. Or if you work with a investment planner, you would want to meet with that person and see how your money is doing and what particulars made your net worth go up or down, hopefully up. Why wouldn't athletes treat their training and goals the same way? This aspect of your program is a bit more tricky and in-depth in that it involves understanding the athlete, their background, and personality. But as a coach, this is what we love and enjoy and do on a daily basis. There is no simple canned approach because every athlete is different and requires different "ingredients" to improve. And again, just like with event goals, it requires a knowledgeable coach that can help you navigate through all the training philosophies and "stuff" you read and listen to and make things as simple as possible.
As important as understanding that we need to set these two categories of goals, there is an underlying principle that needs to be applied and is much more important: Teaching proper training techniques.
Through my experience, goals are achieved not by solely focusing on statements like "let's get you to 300w for a 20' power test" or "You want to ride 21mph or 50 miles". They are achieved by teaching athletes how to train properly. The goals are a byproduct of that philosophy. Don't get me wrong, the two categories of goals are important to every program, as that is the light at the end of the tunnel. But it's teaching how to navigate through that tunnel which is more important.
We love athletes that not only want to achieve goals, but want to learn how to train properly and ask the proper questions. After all, you as an athlete are out there dedicating the time and sweat . It's important to understand what you are doing and why. Being a coach is also about being an educator.
We believe that our unique environment at Athleticamps fosters this philosophy. We are not just a training center with over 20+ years of experience, we are a think tank and learning center. We offer all the ingredients needed to make your individual recipe work! We love athletes take on challenges, want to learn and understand that being a successful athlete includes setting goals and knowing there are ups and downs when achieving their goals.
Stop by, say hello and let's talk about teaching you what it takes to get there!
Ride safe, ride strong....