Well 2015 has been a very good year for me. I have completed my first full distance ironman triathlon, almost broken the 5 hour mark for a half (70.3) ironman and posting a very respectable time at Noosa Olympic distance triathlon.
Having goals? What does that mean? Goals come in many forms, long term, short term, easily achieved, impossible, pipe dream stuff, desires or even tasks. Let’s look at my ironman goal and how I got there. Clearly a lifelong goal (possibly even a pipe dream at times), but I didn’t just set out to do an ironman without smaller and intermediate goals along the way.
My goal in triathlon has always been to do an ironman! In order to achieve it over the last four years I have set myself smaller goals that I needed to complete in order to achieve the ironman goal (to the level of competency it deserves). My first goal was to race my mates at the Noosa triathlon in 2012. Which I did on daily limited and sporadic training, and my result reflected this. However it was a tick in the box and also served as a reality check, I needed to do more. My next goal was Mooloolaba and also to try and build some consistency into my training. Mootri came and went with similar results, I still had a lot of work to do. 2013 rolled around and the Noosa Mooloolaba double was on the calendar again. This year also saw my first foray into the longer racing and I completed my first 70.3 ironman race at the beautiful Sunshine Coast. While improvement on my previous years results was achieved, I still had a lot of work to be able to complete an ironman.
2014 was a turning point in my goal, I got through Mootri with steady improvement, failed at Sunshine coast 70.3 with a DNF and had minor improvement at Noosa. In November 2014 I had a very serious decision to make about achieving my lifelong ironman goal. Together with the support of my family and a few closest friends (you know who you are) I changed my running technique (which I have blogged about previously), which had a massive impact on my training, all of a sudden I could run regularly and not get injured. I set up a 22 week program from January 2015 through to Cairns Ironman, as was committed! I wanted to be an ironman and I was putting everything into making this goal a success!
So at the start of 2015 I planed my training and race calendar with a very 3 very clear goals:
- Finish my first ironman
- Post a significant personal best at Sunshine Coast 70.3
- Post a significant personal best at Noosa (also beat all my mates)
The results speak for themselves and I to say I achieved my goals is an understatement, I exceed my goals by margins I could never have dreamed about, I smashed my goals!
Was it easy? HELL NO! Was it fun? HELL YES! Was there days I wanted to give it up? HELL YES! Was there bumps, highs and lows? HELL YES! But over the past 12 months I have learned to remain focused on the end goal, but be mindful of the present. What does that mean? Well for me it was:
- Celebrating the little achievements along the way.
- Using the down or bad times to inspire the celebrations and results when it finally turns and the good times come.
- Using change (or cross training) to limit or reduce the bad / down times
That may seems simple enough, but in reality, during the process its so hard to implement.
I guess the message is achieving goals can be easy or near impossible. The steps to achieving goals can involve mini / micro goals along the way, but ensure they are targeted at achieving the ultimate goal and stay focused through the entire process!
- Believe in yourself (always)!
- Always visualize yourself achieving your goal (the feeling, the emotion, even the weather)!
- Always plan for the celebration, the mini goals & aftermath!
- Never doubt yourself!
- Know that even in your darkest most painful session or moment that good times will come!
- Surround yourself with the right people!
Know that with the right planning you can achieve anything. I have some big planning to do for 2016.
Till next time build consistency, keep smiling and live to Tri!