Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Realize Your Dreams

Well yesterdays work out was pretty good but my low back on the left side has been bugging me a bit, not sure why. It’s feeling a little better after a good foam roll session, stretching and sleeping on a heat pad.
So I stumbled across this a while ago on betterride.net and thought it would be interesting to fill this out as Gene says that goals that aren't written down are just dreams and goals that you write down become reality or something like that so that's what I did. It definitely helped me put my goals into perspective and I hope it helps me stay focused. So take a look and tell me what you think about my goals. Feel free to copy and paste it and fill it out yourself, who knows it might help you have your best offseason and lead to your best mtb season yet! Also check out what else Gene has to offer at betterride.net
Now that the 2010 season is over (for most of us) and you have had a few weeks off from serious training, riding or competition it is time to prepare for next season. If you are serious about becoming the best rider or racer you can be now is the time to act. All the knowledge in the world is worthless without action. Below is an abbreviated version of the questionnaire I use with my full-time athletes to evaluate their season and design their training program for the next racing season.  Use this to evaluate your performance in 2010 and help your plan an even better 2011!
Do you keep a training and racing diary? A diary is a big help in the following exercise and though out the season for finding factors that lead to changes in performance. If you haven’t kept a training diary in the past, start now. A training diary helps you learn what parts of your training are working and what parts are not can explain “peak” performances and poor performances and is a great confidence booster by tracking all the hours of training you have put in.
Work with your coach or consult a book such as The Mountain Biker’s Training Bible, by Joe Friel and/or James Wilson’s MTB strength training programs to create a training plan to reach all of the above goals. Why a coach? A coach can provide you with a structured training program designed to reach your goals while working around your schedule, an objective eye on your skills and physical training, motivate you and share his/her wisdom speeding up your improvement.
Step One: Assess your racing season and your riding ability. Honestly and objectively answer the following questions about your 2010 season.
Did your skills improve over the course of the season? - yes
What are your strongest skills? (cornering, jumping, steeps, etc.)- climbing, not giving up
What skills need the most improvement? Cornering, jumping, speed, steeps
How did the season go physically? I would bonk towards the end or cross races, and lacked the sprinting speed
Did you start strong and get stronger as the season went on? Yes and no I started in good shape and definitely got stronger as the season went on.
Did you fade in late July and August? Why? n/a, didn’t start racing till August.
Did you have the optimum combination of sprinting speed and endurance? No I don’t feel I did,
Did you pick 3 to 5 big races to peak for? Were you able to peak for those races?  I didn’t I tried to race hard in every race and didn’t pick a specific goal
How was your mental game? I feel I’m pretty mentally strong but I can always improve
Were you confident and riding to your potential or did you find yourself racing below the level that you know you are capable of? I feel I was in the correct races racing the correct competitors but I do feel that I could have raced a little better
What factors helped your confidence this season? Just slowly moving up the positions with each race.
What factors hurt your confidence this season? Not being able to finish strong every race
Did you a have comprehensive (mental, physical and skill) training program? What part of your program worked? What parts didn’t work? No I didn’t I would find bits and pieces on line and with a gym trainer and use past experiences to guide me
Did your racing improve as the season went on? Yes,
Did you create and write down concrete goals? no
Did you reach your racing goals?  Yes, because it was my first year, and I simply wanted to finish my first race and improve over the season
Step Two: Use the answers to these questions as an evaluation of your strengths and weaknesses setting the foundation your 2011 season training program.
Set career, three years from now and this season’s racing goals (top three over all in my state series, etc.), physical training goals (decrease my 50 yard sprint time by 15%, increase my maximum squat by 20%, etc.), skills goals (improve balance, improve cornering, etc.) and mental training goals (improve visualization, learn relaxation techniques, etc.) for your 2011 season.
Racing Goals
1. Career goal- to eventually become an elite racer
2. Three year goal- move to Colorado and race competitively in XC, DH and 4x or BMX
3. This season’s goal- buy my own mountain bike, race a few super d races, podium in sport class xc, podium in a cyclocross race, possibly begin racing BMX if money allows
Physical training Goals, to allow me to reach my racing goals
1. Build overall strength to prevent injury
2. Increase pedal power and sprinting and top end speed
3. become more explosive out of corners
Skills Training Goals, to allow me to reach my racing goals
1.  Become a better corner
2. Become a smoother rider- ei. Cleaning rock gardens and jumps
3. Become a more efficient rider- ei. Pedaling efficiently, pumping through the downhill areas
Mental training Goals, to allow me to reach my racing goals
1. Stay focused
2. Stay committed
3. Don’t give into fatigue

Step Three: Act on your training program! Ride! Workout! Visualize! Constantly update your goals and training program based on improvement or lack of improvement.
Remember, unwritten goals are just dreams; goals you write down you will commit to and strive to reach. Good luck next season and feel free to call or e-mail with questions, suggestions or to start a personal coaching program.

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