2011-10-09

Winter Training: Set An Objective

Five days ago, I initiated a conversation with the universe about winter training. The emphasis of that article was on psychological reasons to take advantage of winter training. Today, I'd like to write a little bit about setting goals for your winter training regimen.

In order to set a good goal, it is important to know yourself pretty well. This is for a number of reason.

First, it only makes sense to set goals that you can trust yourself to pursue. In other word, if you're like me and hate the cold, it is probably not a good idea to set a goal of cross-country skiing three times a week once the snow falls. We all know, no matter how much I profess to want it, I will never get outside and cross-country ski even once this year, much less three times per week. It is an easy goal to achieve for people who will actually do it. For me, it would be pure idiocy.

Second, you have to keep in mind what's important to you. If the most important event of the year is that summertime marathon, that spring trip to the Dominican Republic, that Christmas party, or whatever, then you should structure your training regimen to that event. This is particularly important as it pertains to timing. Starting now, you have some time to organize a regimen that produces results as of a particular date. If you're aiming for something in December or January, you'll want to make sure you dive in right away. If you have a longer time period than that, you can use the first few months to build up some weaker muscle groups, for example, before hitting the more specific training exercises.

Finally, give yourself a break. Don't just put your head down and keep training for your next race. Use the off-season, take advantage of its benefits. Do something different, shake things up a little. Get out of your comfort zone. Mentally, you'll end up in a better place. Physically, your body will respond to the wider variation.

I'm still investigating my next goal. I'll share it with you in the coming days.