Setting My Goals

So it is time for me to actually put out loud my goals.  Some of my friends know them, some don’t understand, and some just flat out don’t know them.  I have lofty goals.  They are big goals, but I have them for a reason.

The Big Goal

So my biggest goal is one that is at this point 15 months away and really started almost nine months prior.  I didn’t take it very serious until April of this year (2015) likely due to the fact that I knew how big of a goal it was and the time until said goal could be met.  If you hadn’t deduced by now from the image in this post, the goal is to not only complete an Ironman race, but to get to Kona.  In order to get to Kona, I have to place in my age group.  This is no small task.  

Breaking Down The Goal

Because my goal of placing in an Ironman is so far away, I have to break things down into much smaller goals.  I also have another subset of goals for races that I will get into in a bit. So in order to get to Kona, I need to know what I need to do.  Placing in my age group varies in Ironman races due to many factors.  The largest being the course.  Some courses are faster than others, and the faster the course, the tougher the competition is.  Unfortunately for me, the choosing of the race was not up to me, rather a friend of mine who will also be competing, but not with the same time goal as me.  The short version is, I need to be able to finish the 140.6 mile race in roughly 9 hours and 15 minutes tops for the course I am doing.  Breaking that down that is roughly: 1 hour for the swim, 5 hours for the bike, 3 hours for the run, plus 15 minutes for transitions and extra time.  At this point I know I can do one of those three and the downside is, no one has ever won an Ironman from the swim, but people have definitely lost the race in the swim.  

Getting Faster Over Time

Races are the primary place we can tell how our training is going.  I train about 80-90% of my workouts at a slower, easier pace.  There are times when I go fast, but most of the time I take it easy-ish.  Don’t get me wrong, a 10 mile run at an easy pace is still taxing on the body.  And that is now, as I get closer to the race, that 10 mile run will be a more common place occurrence than it is now.  So I went about and set my race schedule with certain goals in mind.  The first race is in September with a half marathon race.  The hard goal of this race is to run a sub 8min mile for the duration of the race.   If I can do that, then I am on track for where I need to be.  I know that realistically speaking, in the course of a year, dropping a full minute per mile is going to be difficult, but that is where I need to be. The next race on the calendar is the famous Dopey Challenge.  The benefit of this race is that I will be racing the marathon on very tired legs.  It will be the fourth day in a row of waking up early and the fourth day of running.  The hard goal for this race is 3:45 or better.  The reason for the slower pace is due to the tired legs.  Had this just been a marathon, the goal would have been 3:30 or better.  But because it is the fourth race, I get some extra leeway on it. Then a break happens and most of my training will be done indoors.  I will have my strength and weakness focus training and in mid April I get my first long distance triathlon experience in a half Ironman event.  The super hard goal of this event is to be in the 4:30-4:40 range.  Hard goal is still sub 5:00.  From this race until Ironman Arizona, there are no other major races scheduled.  I might throw in some smaller triathlons or half marathons, but this race is the benchmark for the November 2016 race.  

Race Goals In General

One of the things that I do for each of my races is I set a goal.  Actually I set at least three goals for each race.  The first is a super easy achievable goal.  Basically just show up to the race and go.  Most of these are set at training pace.  So if I am running an easy run at a 10min pace, I would set an achievable goal for a half marathon at 2:10.  The next goal I set is to execute the race plan.  Each race is different and each has their quirks that need to be addressed.  Running races are easier for me to set a race plan as I am still learning for the triathlons.  So the goal is to set a plan and actually stick to it.  Case in point, if I set a half marathon race plan to start out at a 10min mile, and run the first three miles in 24 minutes, I have failed the plan.  Even if I was to sustain that 8 min mile for the entire duration of the race, I still failed the plan.  Sticking to the plan is a big goal.  The third goal I typically set is what I like to call my hard goal.  This is the ideal finish time for myself.  This is the time that takes a lot of work but shows how well the training is coming along.  These are what I work towards.

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