Start your planning now
Image: Jungfrau-Marathon by swiss-image
Anyone wanting to achieve a major goal next year should start their planning and preparation now.
Now is the perfect time to make thoughts about a new goal and start preparing yourself accordingly. What should it be? A cycling or bike marathon? Your first ultra-trail? Or a new competitive challenge in an alternative sport that you have been practising to date? There is certainly no lack of opportunities. Most of the time, it tends to be the shortage of time and lack of motivation that causes a major project to fail. It is therefore all the more important that a personal goal is thoughtfully defined and approached.
With these tips, it will definitely work out next year:
- Register for a realistic goal
Look for the right challenge in the wide range on offer and register immediately. Your goal will thus become binding and the preparation can start. Each training unit now makes sense, because it is geared towards the major goal. When choosing your goal, make sure that it is realistic and can be achieved with a training effort that is compatible with your current situation (work, family, other hobbies).
- Plan your training
It pays to approach a major goal in a structured way with the aid of a training plan. Because those who stick to the plan and, in particular, complete the key units, can rest assured that they have done everything necessary for a successful outcome. This mental effect is not to be underestimated! Of utmost importance in any event: the training volume should be tailored to what you have done in the past six months. This is the only way to ensure that you remain free of injuries. For the success of the project, it is also crucial that you train holistically. This means not only focussing on endurance training, but also making sure that you don’t neglect the components of strength and flexibility in particular.
- Think of recovery
In the short term, it is possible to tolerate an increase in training without adapting the regenerative measures at the same time. In the long term, however, an imbalance with a loss of performance or an increased susceptibility to injury becomes noticeable. Therefore, deliberately allow for rest weeks, increase the number of regenerative measures, and especially make sure that you get enough sleep.
- Increase your motivation and performance capability with an intensive week
On the way to your goal, it is extremely beneficial for your motivation if you ensure there is variety, such as training for a week with like-minded people by the sea, for example. You’ll see that you get a lot of new inputs, will make a leap in performance due to the extra training - provided you consciously take time to recover the following week - and will be additionally motivated afterwards.
- Set yourself intermediate goals
It pays to not only take part in a major race, but to incorporate two to three «intermediate stops» along the way in the form of preparatory races. On the one hand, you can test your level of fitness, and on the other, you can gather a lot of experience with regard to race preparation, racing tactics, and equipment.
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