Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I was just reading some blogs I follow (while I take a break from grading papers) and recognized a thread in all of them today - a loose thread, kind of frayed and fuzzy perhaps.  It has to do with goal setting and training especially when it comes to long distance events - marathons and half or full Ironman distance triathlons.  What I have taken from this thread is that very specific goal times are kind of ridiculous for these events (maybe any events).  There are way too many variables in training over such a long period of time and on the actual day of the race, that a very specific goal seems like a lot of pressure to put on yourself - or in this case, myself.  

In an earlier post I listed a bunch of goal times for the events I am planning on doing in 2009 and that is fine, but I think that realistically I should have three goal times for every race - faster than I have gone before, about as fast as I have gone before, finish in one piece.  That means that my training for an event falls roughly in the same categories.  If I want to run a race faster, I have to train faster/harder.  If I want run a race about the same as I have in the past, I have to train like have in the past.  If I want to simply finish a race, I have to train enough to make it through while remaining (or getting) healthy.  Some of the performance comes from experience and learning new tricks.  I consider those improvements a freebee - to be considered but no necessarily banked on. This way the pressure is off, I continue to enjoy the journey and the times will come.  

Overall goal for this year - faster.

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