No Goals, No Glory

On my recent hike at Pt.Lobos, I saw this saying on a guy’s tee shirt. It happened to be the day before the Big Sur Marathon, and he and his wife were visiting from Philadelphia to run it, and were sightseeing at Pt Lobos. They were both fit and healthy looking. I grew up about 50 miles north of Philly so we got to chatting. It turns out his wife sells those tees but didn’t have any with her or I’d have been tempted to get one. I think it is a good message.

Without goals, training can get stuck on a plateau. Until recently my goal has been “recover from collarbone break” but I’m past that now and it’s time to set a new one. I couldn’t do a kayaking goal because I recently found out I tore a rotator cuff in my bike crash, which I’ll discuss in more detail soon. So a biking or hiking challenge seemed more appropriate. I picked one of each, actually: break my PR for “riding a marathon” standing up, and increase my stamina so I can keep up with a faster hiking meetup group on one of their challenging hikes. Those should get me going. If you’ve read my post “Challenge Yourself (But Choose Your Challenge Wisely)“, which talks about shorter more intense challenges, you may wonder why I’ve picked these two longer goals. While I was recovering from my crash I did a lot more short intense training and less longer training since I couldn’t ride outdoors for quite some time. I get bored riding on a trainer so I prefer intervals to longer sessions. But now I’m craving some longer stuff. I haven’t talked about periodization of training here, which you can make a big deal out of, but basically it keeps things fresh to mix things up once in a while. While emphasizing longer training, I’ll still do at least one day a week of shorter intense workouts. The one thing I’ve found that is not a good idea, at least for my old bod, is to mix long and high intensity the same day.

In the past probably the most motivating challenge I had was training for marathons. The marathon bug would usually bite when my long run was up to about 10 miles. Since 26 miles is a lot longer, my training plan for several weeks would be to just gradually ramp up my training, especially my long run of the week, till it was more than 20 miles. It was that simple because I was training just to finish strongly, not for time. Big mountains were also a good goal. Knowing I was going to hike Long’s Peak in a few weeks with some friends was sure good motivation. Time-based goals, like trying to run a faster 10K or ride a faster Senior Games time trial, have also been great motivation.

Right now I can stand up pedaling for about 80 minutes continuously (83 minutes today, to be exact). Since my pedaling marathon PR is 2 hours 28 minutes, I obviously have to ramp that up quite a bit, which will motivate my training for the next few weeks. I’ll have to also do some tempo training to bump up my cruising speed. The muscles for pedaling standing up and hiking are similar so this will contribute to my second goal also.

But I will also want to do at least one long hike a week where I push the pace. I’m recovered 100%, the weather is great, it’s time to get moving! Goals are fun 🙂

2 thoughts on “No Goals, No Glory

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