2012 was an action-packed year for Guest blogger and Local Triathlete Kerry Rough. Kerry flew out to Auckland to compete in the World Triathlon Championships representing Great Britain. The fun doesn't end there though - after a couple of weeks' rest and recovery, Kerry was straight back into training. In part one of a five-part series, Kerry talks about her plans for the year ahead and gives us some tips for setting and achieving your goals. Read on and be inspired!
So hands up if you like training and riding your bike?
Okay, so then let's ask something else - do you have a goal this year? If not why not?!
For me training each day, day in day out, I need to have a focus and a reason to get up early each morning, or stay out later than most people out on my bike cycling around the lanes. With ice and frost having greeted me most days, having the motivation to put my running shoes on is really quite low. But one key thought reminds me why I am doing this running and what makes everything that seems like a whole lot of effort entirely worth it.
Each season brings with it new adventures and new events and this year is no different for me. Having gained a place in the coveted Virgin London Marathon for 2012, I ended up deferring my place due to injury. Having this on my agenda for 2013 and the knowledge that it will be my first marathon makes those key sessions in the driving rain/sleet/snow [insert your worst weather here] absolutely critical. If I do not have my three key run sessions each week, I will only have myself to blame when I end up injured or crawling across the finish line.
For some people it might be a certain target finish time, for others it is simply finishing the race. For me it is to firstly get to the marathon start line injury free, complete the race in a time that really doesn't matter, and finally to finish the race. I know that the sense of achievement will launch me higher than anything I have ever experienced, and the buzz and adrenaline will be enough to carry me all the way through as well as the training miles I am putting in now. However it is not enough to rely on the buzz alone, and that is why those three runs each week are so important to me. I know that for me continuity and consistency is key, and that goal keeps me going through these awful rainy nights.
However your goal doesn't need to be something as large as completing the London Marathon. It could be something as simple as aiming to lose some weight over the next year, or could be aiming for a race or event and wanting to be fit enough to finish. There are plenty of other sorts of goals and achieving those goals are always something to look forward to. I would strongly suggest rewarding yourself for getting to your goal as well. So for example it might be treating yourself to a new piece of kit, (shiny bikes make good rewards!) or it might just be a beer on finishing that cycle sportive. My personal reward is a huge burger and chips on finishing a race followed by a full fat coke.
Goal setting doesn't have to be taxing or difficult, but it certainly helps you with structuring your training and keeps your motivation strong.