With only a week and a half before my sprint tri, I figured it was about time to sit down and figure out some goals for the race. (This probably should have been the first step in my training, but better late than never!) As we’ve probably all heard before, goals should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. For my first triathlon in 2006, my goal was simply to finish on my own two feet. Now, as my fitness has improved tremendously, I am ready to be quite a bit more ambitious in my goal setting.
Goal 1: Beat my 2006 time of 2:07:40
This goal is clearly specific; a vague goal would have been something like “do a triathlon some time”. It’s measurable- either I finish faster than 2:07:40 or I don’t. I’m certain that it is attainable, I’m more fit than I ever have been and I have no doubt that I can beat this time. Along the same lines, it’s a realistic goal and definitely not outside of my ability. Even though I didn’t record it, per se. This has been my goal since I signed up to race the sprint again, so I think my whole training this season has really been working toward this, making it timely.
Goal 2: Finish in under 1:40
I’ve done some (not so) complex math to determine my times in each event and then figure out the goal. So my sub-goals are to complete the swim in under 15 minutes, which would be a 2 minute improvement over my last effort. I’m not so sure about meeting this goal as I don’t think my swimming speed has really improved all that much, but I’m hoping the new wetsuit will help a bit. For the bike, I’m hoping to average about 15.5 mph even with the climbing. This will give me a bike split of 48 minutes, but I’m actually hoping to do a bit better than that. Unfortunately, I forgot to record the time for the course when we biked it over Easter weekend, so while I think this is attainable and realistic, it’s possible I’m a little off. I’m aiming to do the run in 30 minutes. If I keep my legs moving, I’m positive I can do this. Last time, I walked a fair amount of the running leg, but I will run the whole thing this time. I know I can. Finally, I’m aiming to keep my transitions under 3 minutes. I haven’t practiced them much, so I don’t really have a time to use for comparison. I switched my swim day to Friday, so I can practice my swim to bike transition at the pool. People are probably going to think I’m crazy as I change from my wetsuit to cycling gear as fast as possible at pool edge. Maybe I am a little crazy!
Goal 3: Place in the top 30% of women
I decided not to aim for an age group placement in this race after looking at some of the times for the past few years. It looks like my age group has consistently placed high and fast in overall rankings, and I want this goal to be attainable. Maybe next year I’ll aim for a podium finish in my race age. Of course, I age up next year so it’s a whole new can of worms.
I think these are pretty good goals at this point in the season. Let’s see how I do. What are your race goals?