Triathlon Tip: Internal Goals Yield External Results

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Visual Psychology
someone’s inside you just trying to get out
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photo credit: h.koppdelaney

Note: This post is part of our Annual Training Plan Sale Series. All Endurance Nation Ironman® & 70.3® Training Plans are 30% off through January 9, 2011. Visit the EN Store for more details and information.

Inside Endurance Nation, we hear goals all the time. From prospective customers to our own members, everyone has a position staked out that is a large part of what drives them on a daily basis. While goals are a natural part of how we operate as athletes, they are not all made equal. A large part of what we do inside EN is turn your focus inwards, towards elements of your fitness that you can control and improve and away from external metrics that could remain out of grasp for a myriad of reasons.

Sample External Goals:

  • I want to be on the podium.
  • I just want to finish.
  • I want to beat my sister-in-law.
  • I want to be faster than last year.

These are all solid goals, clearly meaningful to the goal setter. But each of them is, in some way, truly out of the athlete’s control. As a result, you aren’t necessarily rewarded for hard work, and your ability to attain the goals is a function of the race itself…providing you minimal feedback or support or guidance for the months of training beforehand.

Improved Internal Goals:

  • Improve body composition, drop weight by 5%.
  • Drop 5k time by 30 seconds.
  • Increase bike Functional Threshold Power by 15%.
  • Add daily core strength to my routine.

In this set of goals, the difference is clear. These are all very individual numbers that can be measured, tested, and improved. No one else can affect your FTP, for example, and the final test result will (or will not) show results.

More importantly, we are building your self confidence and internal momentum by putting you in the driver’s seat. Being in charge of reaching your own goals is a critical first step towards being your best. Guaranteed if you can improve your bike and run fitness as well as dial in your body composition, that PR will take care of itself!


Coach P

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