January is the time of year where every newspaper, magazine and blog runs a story on resolutions, but many of us got our fingers burnt by 2020 when our ambitious plans were thrown of course by a global pandemic. So how do we plan and commit to cycling goals for the year ahead when we still don’t know what events might run, what travel will look like or even our working patterns?
Build in flexibility
So last year your goal was to complete a sportive but the event got cancelled and now you are wondering what the point is? Feel familiar?
While some people gave up on their training once the goal was removed others found a way to make it happen anyway. Cycling Weekly’s CW5000 Challenge allows you to take on the challenge and cover the distance anyhow and anywhere. Some organisers moved their events online, The Ridgeway Rouleur became a virtual event for 2020 so participants could still have the satisfaction of ticking off your goal.
If you can be prepared with several different ways to complete the same challenge you can set it as a goal confident you will find a way to see it through.
Set performance goals
This is sound advice in any year but even more so now. A performance goal doesn’t need an event or a medal or a race to make it achievable, it is just about you. If you are laden down with power meters and heart rate monitors you probably apply this in your training anyway and have an easy way to set a measurable performance goal, but if you ride in a less structured way it is a little trickier.
How about picking a local hill and challenging yourself to reduce the time it takes to ride up it? Or learning a skill such as riding the rollers. Choose something that you can control all aspects of and needs no external measurement of success.
A goal doesn’t need to be about getting fitter or faster, it could be something completely different. With many of us spending more time at home than usual you could set yourself the challenge to ride every (cycling safe) road within a 5-mile radius of your house. Or take a picture on every bike ride in 2021 to create a visual ride diary. Think of the things you enjoy about cycling and create a goal that focuses on them to keep you motivated, whatever else might change around you.
Make it about cycling – but not cycling
There are many things you can do to improve your cycling health and fitness beyond just riding your bike. What you eat, how much you sleep, how much stretching and strengthening work you do is all part of the package. Here’s a suggestion – how many days do you manage to tick off eating 5 portions of different fruit and veg, can you make it 7? We know it sounds simplistic but something like this will benefit your overall health and can be achieved anywhere at any time, whether you are working from home, travelling or back in the office.
We are all hoping for a brighter, better, more certain 2021 so let’s be big and ambitious in our goal setting (whilst factoring in a little wriggle room for the unexpected)!
Share your 2021 cycling goals with us on our Twitter or Facebook pages.