It’s not all about mileage, goals and PBs

If 2021 has taught me anything it is that sometimes you can’t do it all. A growing family, a son wanting to try more activities and a new role in work has meant most of what I set out to achieve in 2021 didn’t happen
So how was your 2021? Mine was busy and meant everything I decided at the start of the year didn’t go according to plan. Do I mind? Not one bit. It certainly has been a balancing act but you do what you can. I’m writing this from my perspective and what has helped me with an extra busy year outside of sports. It may not work for all and some work better with set goals and targets but what i want to share is things change and don’t feel bad if you have to shift goalposts.

Goals can be changed

I started the year with clear goals

  • 120km of swimming
  • 4000km of cycling
  • 1000 miles of running
  • 5km open water swim
  • PB at 10km, half and full marathon

The year started off strong and I was well on my way to my goals. In April I managed a virtual half marathon PB and distance goals were all on track. But soon a foot injury meant I had limited cycling and running for almost 4 months. And the excitement of the birth of our 2nd baby in June meant I had to change goals to be more realistic. With limited running and cycling I increased my swimming and soon found myself doing 5km open water training sessions. This led me to complete a 10km open water swim, something I never thought I’d do. With help from training partners I smashed that goal. I scratched my mileage targets, marathon goal went out the window but I did manage a 10km PB. It is important to know that you should change your goals if needed, you can’t predict what is to come.

10km open water swim

Be flexible

I was always a morning person for runs, did the majority of my swimming in the pool and bike work was mixed. But over the last 2 years we have all had to be flexible. This included limits on traveling, closures of pools and change in work schedule. I now do the majority of my swimming in open water with roughly only 10 sessions this year happening in the pool. With change in personal circumstances I need to be flexible when I do train, a baby could be up all night, a project in work could be due or house work may need to be done

  • Be open to changing the time/day of a session to better fit your schedule
  • Fit in your session when possible, maybe a meeting finished early or kids are napping
  • Have the kit ready so when time allows you are ready to go

Don’t be afraid to take a break

There are days I wake up and I’m extra tired. In the past I’d push through and do a session but soon I’d find myself picking up injuries. Maybe a break would have helped

  • There are days when a rest is better don’t feel bad if you need that break
  • Don’t try to make up the missed session, just continue with your plan when ready
  • After a tough run of training / racing some time off is always welcomed

Try something new

In 2021 to help motivate me when times were tough I decided to try something new. A great way to spend more time with family but stay active was to hit the trails and mountains. My son loved being out in the open air and taking on new challenges. He is getting to an age where he wants to try new things and it has led me to also now running trails, something I had never done.

  • Cross training is extremely helpful, why not have a look at what other activities are out there, it could be swimming, cycling, chess or anything that helps

Enjoy yourself

Key thing is you need to enjoy what you are doing. If it feels like torture everyday then maybe its time to change it up so you are doing it with a smile. Of course it may not be fun when you are chasing down a target race but the build up and after crossing the line should put a smile on your face. I will sit down and write up my goals for 2022 but now I will be more conscious that personal life will dictate some of those goals.

 

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