Over the past few years, I’ve made a habit of making my fitness and racing goals public. This has served well to drive me forward. It provides a sort of passive accountability, as once I’ve made my goals public, they become obligations to my friends and readers. I harbor the perhaps delusional notion that people are watching me, and waiting to see if I succeed. Maybe they’re rooting for me, and I want to live up to their expectations. Maybe they’re waiting for me to fail, and I don’t want to give them the satisfaction. Either way, it’s fuel.
There have been more than a few people, from psychologists to motivational speakers to coaches, who have come out lately against the practice of setting goals. They say that setting goals is too risky, too idealistic, too finite. They say you don’t need goals, you need a system. Sometimes, they’re even willing to sell you that very system (oh boy, what luck)!
To them I say, goals are my system. They’ve worked for me for years, and I expect they’ll continue to do so. For me, goals are the footholds by which I climb the mountain that is life. They are the ruler by which my progress as an athlete, and a person, is measured. To abandon them in favor of some nebulous “system,” when they have proven so useful for me, would be foolish. My systems, where I have them, have evolved to meet my goals, not the other way around.
Missing goals is a risk, and in fact I missed several of mine over the past year. I missed my goal time for a 5k by 23 seconds, for a half marathon by 1:04, and for my Iceman Cometh finish by 1 position. I wasn’t able to achieve some of my goals due to injury. I missed Barry Roubaix after I put myself in the hospital with thunderclap headaches during the 2014 CrossFit Open, and my progress in the gym has been hampered by nagging shoulder injuries.
But learning how to accept setbacks is part of the process. If I were achieving every goal I set out for myself, then I probably wouldn’t be setting high enough goals. It’s important to know yourself well enough to strike that balance; set goals that you can reasonably achieve, but not so reasonable that you won’t be challenged and improved by striving for them.
So with that in mind, I give you my 2015 goal sheet. It is as ambitious as the same sheets from 2013 and 2014, perhaps more so. Some of the things on this list scare me, but that’s as it should be. Being a little nervous will keep me focused and training. How will I do this year? Keep checking back here to find out.
Note: The first number or time is my goal, the second is the difference from last year’s record, and the third (if present) is the pace.
- <15% Body Fat (-5%)
- >99 AFPFT Score, 9:29 run (-0:17)
- Rehab/stabilize shoulders
- Deadlift 455 (+50)
- Back Squat 315 (+30)
- Front Squat 285 (+40)
- Clean 255 (+30)
- 5k 20:59 (-1:23) (6:45/mi)
- 10k 44:59 (new) (7:15/mi)
- Half Marathon 1:41:59 (-4:05) (7:45/mi)
- Marathon 3:59:59 (new) (9:09/mi)
- JB 6 Hour 6 Laps (+1)
- Big Frog 65 7:29:59 (-1:36:14)
- Lumberjack 100 9:59:59 (-1:12:57)
- Iceman Cometh AG Top 35 (+16 pos)
- Try a road race
- 10 mi TT 22+ mph avg (+.36)
- Calvin’s Challenge 108 mi (+13.5) (18 mph)
- Cat 5 Crit Podium (+4 pos)
Cyclocross & Gravel
- Finish races in the pack
- Gravel Grovel 5:29:29 (-20:02)