Gyms are closed, pools are closed and almost all sporting competitions have been cancelled or postponed. It is an interesting world we are currently living in. Sport and activity alike are a way of life that brings people together and motivates them. I believe you would be hard pressed to find an athlete that doesn’t enjoy training with others more than training alone. Without that ability to fire those competitive juices it can be hard to push yourself harder, faster or stronger. This is becoming a huge reality for athletes both elite, sub-elite and armature as we all attempt to find our way through the current COVID-19 pandemic.
It is important now more than ever that we create goals for ourselves, we work towards those goals and we achieve them. Just because we don’t have any big competitions or events to train for at this time, doesn’t mean we can’t still have goals to achieve. That way when competitions and events do recommence, we are able to hit the ground running. This may seem incredibly difficult for some athletes as there training facilities have been shut down; however, this may be an opportunity for us to refocus that competitive energy and create new goals for ourselves.
For example you may be a swimmer that had been planning to compete in various competitions over the course of the next few months as you lead into your Nationals campaign, however with the closure of all aquatic facilities this plan has come to a grinding halt. Your first thoughts may be well what do I do now? Why would I continue to train when there is nothing for me to train for? Or how am I meant to maintain my fitness when I can’t even train? All of these are very reasonable thoughts to have currently.
So, you may not be able to train in the pool anymore but how are your running or cycling abilities. You can’t do your traditional strength training session anymore, not a problem we can do strength training at home. So why not take the competitive energy you had for swimming and refocus it into a new challenge at home that can still help to maintain your fitness. For example why not set a goal to make a time for a 12km bike ride or a 6km run, you can do a time trial alone or with one other and then train for 4 to 6 weeks before doing another time trial. Or why not set a new challenge in the gym maybe you cant try and beat your max squat but you could try and beat your max push ups or pull ups, or you could make a goal to be able to do the worlds hardest push up.
It is so important as an athlete to set yourself goals and work towards them. Giving yourself a goal to achieve gives you a sense of purpose and fulfillment. It is also important however to break our goals down. If you want to run 6km in 24 minutes then first let’s look at what we need to do to achieve that, we need to be able to run 4 min/km pace. So now we know what we have to do to achieve our goal how are we going to do it, a good start might be to start trying to run 2-minute 500-meter repeats.
This is what we call setting a goal structure. First, we look at our OUTCOME goal what is the big thing that we want to achieve (24 minutes for 6km). We then look at our PERFORMANCE goals, what do we need to achieve for that big goal to be attainable (4 min/km pace). Lastly our PROCESS goals how do we achieve that, what are we going to do to be able to achieve that (run 2-minute 500m repeats).
So just because you may not have your usual competitions to train for does not meant that you can’t be creative and make some new goals for the current times. Have a competition against mates where you do a time trial and post your times trying to beat each other. Have a video call with friends and do your home workout together. Challenge your mates to a push up or pull up competition, go nuts and get as creative as you can as there is no better time than now to do so.
With the current circumstances as they are the team at RAD are here to help you the best possible way we can to achieve your goals. We have online coaching packages available to all athletes, using our programming software. This includes a combination of both Strength and Conditioning work based on your goals and the equipment that you have got access to. It also enables you to jump on to our Zoom meeting room with our coaches – with sessions available every day to check in with the team and go through your training session under their guidance. If you are interested in our online coaching let us know and we can give you a full run down on how it all works – firstname.lastname@example.org
Below you will find a goal setting template that you can use to set some new creative goals to achieve.