After several nights of watching the Olympics, it's obvious that getting to the medal podium is what most athletes strive for as a goal. Getting a gold, silver, or bronze medal is what it's all about right? Well, for an elite few yes. But for the rest of us, not really.
I think we all need to construct a podium in our backyards or rooftops. That way when we finish a great run or ride we can jump up on the podium, raise our hands up high, listen to the music, smile for the cameras, and bask in the glory if for only a few moments.
What makes the two groups the same? Goals.
The medal winners and many elite athletes set goals. Both for competition and training. The rest of us need to also. Whether it's training or racing, goals need to be set. What types of goals can you challenge yourself with? In running, it might be a setting a particular time for the entire distance that day. It might be that you ran a long run for endurance or a tempo run at the pace you set as a goal. It might be that you wanted to run a distance that you had never run before. In cycling, it could be that you want to climb a tough hill. You might also want to ride a distance that you have never accomplished before. It could be that you are riding with a group that you really want to stick with and not get dropped. It could be just to have fun. Whatever the situation, a goal needs to be set each time we step out the door.
So the next time you step out the door or when you set up your training plan for the week, set goals that you can work towards. Put your best effort into them. Accomplish what you set out to do. Then when you get home, get up on the podium and celebrate! If you listen real hard, you'll be able to hear me cheering for you.
Forward we go! May your roads and trails be happy and safe!