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The Triathlete Blueprint newsletter #20-A 10-Steps Guide to Setting Triathlon Goals for 2024

Updated: Apr 8







Read time: 3min.

By Coach Yan Busset



As we look forward to next season, it's a golden opportunity to find goals that resonate with your personal and athletic aspirations. Get on-board in this planning trip, let’s reflect together on your journey so far and gear up for an inspiring season ahead. Here’s your 10-steps guide to setting up bulletproof goals:


Step 1: Reflect and Learn

Kickstart your goal-setting journey with a reflection on your past seasons. Before you dive into goal setting, take a moment to reflect on your strengths and weaknesses. Knowing where you stand will provide a solid foundation for setting your 2024 goals. Also it would be a good timing to perform tests to have a baseline on your current fitness, which will help to measure future improvements.


Step 2: Define Your Personal Goals

Now, let's get down to defining what you want to achieve. It could be, for example, amplifying your biking power or advancing your swim speed. The goal should personally motivate you and spark a gut feeling of excitement every time you think of it. It could be a specific race that you have dreamed about, or a frustration that you want to turn into an asset that you will use a motivation fuel during the long winter. For example you have enough to get constantly overtaken on the run course and you think it's time for you to get some run speed. Or making sure you will train enough your swim and bike this winter so that you will not be toasted at T2 and finally be able to run at the best of your abilities.


Step 3: Embrace the S.M.A.R.T Method

Ensure your goals align with the S.M.A.R.T methodology (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound). For instance, if you're aiming to improve on the bike over a full IM, a S.M.A.R.T goal could be, "I want to enhance my aerobic threshold watts by 15% in 6 months," or "I aim to improve my swim to safely complete a 1,9km open water swim by July."




Step 4: Mid-Goals are Your Milestones, and Side Goals Your Kickstand

Map out a series of mid-goals and side goals to support the main one. If improving your swim speed is your aim for next year, a mid-goal might look like, "By the end of the year, I aim to improve my critical swim speed from 2:10 to 1:55/100m," . A supportive side goal could be, "I will swim a minimum of 3 sessions per week."


Step 5: Build a Balanced Lifestyle

Having a goal to raise your training volume without a lifestyle change is like going on long bike ride running on just water, at one point you will bonk. Incorporate habits that naturally lead you towards achieving your goals, be it nutrition changes, improving your sleep, or avoiding extensive hours sitting in the same positition at your desk.


Step 6: Share Your Goals

Don’t be shy, share your aspirations with your partner, family, or friends to build a supportive network that encourages you through your journey. Posting on social your goals (not the bragging way, but more in a self-accountability manner) can help you stay on track, especially on days when doubts arrives or you feel yourself drifting away from your objectives.


Step 7: Develop a Resilient Plan B

A famous ultra-runner once said: "Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you're going to get." Having a Plan B ensures you stay on course, adapting and evolving, no matter what life throws at you. Introduce flexibility to your plan and have a contingency in place. For example, if you face an injury too close to your A race day, knowing that you have the option to switch to a later race can help you bounce back quickly.


Step 8: Step Beyond Your Comfort Zone

Remember, we often stick to training routines we are comfortable with, not necessarily the ones that leads to growth. Dare to step out of your comfort zone to truly progress.


Step 9: Consult with Your Coach

Your coach is not just a guide but a wingman in your journey. Having one helps in setting realistic goals and staying accountable, ensuring you're on the right path to achieving your dreams.



Step 10: Keep a Detailed Log

It’s crucial to track your progress meticulously. Platforms like TrainingPeaks can be a great ally, helping you log essential data and feedback. Remember, you can’t improve what you don’t track, so maintaining a detailed log will assist with future decision-making by highlighting what worked and what didn't.



This period of the year is perfect for taking the time to reflect and lay the foundation for next year's goals. It will be the base layer of your future success, so don’t skip this step and just go with the flow. Training randomly can only yield random results.


Thank you for reading and see you next week!


 

Whenever you’re ready, there are 3 ways I can help you:


1. If you are looking for support for your triathlon journey, I recommend you book a 30min 1on1 video consultation with me here.


2. If you are looking for an online coaching service check here.


3. if you are in the Helsinki area and looking for the best training group check here


 

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