– John Wooden
To say you are going to change is not enough; to say you’re going to specifically change is a positive step to realizing your desired change.
Setting a specific goal is part the S.M.A.R.T. program of setting specific, measureable, attainable, realistic and timely goals. This strategy works in realizing athletic goals and real-life goals. What is experienced when setting athletic goals translates to setting life goals and they combine to produce the positive and productive lifestyle change that lasts.
This series of columns is dedicated to prepare first-time triathletes for the Ruidoso Sprint Triathlon on June 9. It is a sprint triathlon consisting of a 3.5-mile run, a 10-mile bike ride on roads and a 400-yard swim in the Ruidoso Athletic Club (RAC) pool. You can see all of the columns at www.ruidosofreepress.com, so if you have missed a column or wish to start the program, check out the website.
After an overview of the S.M.A.R.T. program last week, we look at setting specific goals here.
You can only control what you can control, namely you. That is fundamental to setting a specific goal.
It is a huge mistake to compare yourself to others; you can’t control other people. Therefore, your performance goal should not be to win the race or a top-five finish in your age group. Rather, make a specific goal for yourself: I wish to lose weight, so I want to finish the Ruidoso Sprint Triathlon on June 9.
Then further dial-down your goal of finishing the triathlon. Get out a calendar and circle June 9 with a bright yellow highlighter. Then work back from June 9 with specific items you want to achieve by month, week and day. Break down your big goal into smaller, specific goals.
Say you haven’t been a swimmer since Mark Spitz was an Olympian and your goal is to swim 400 yards on June 9. That’s eight laps, or 16 lengths, of the RAC pool. By April 9, you want to comfortably swim 200 yards (four laps) and swim 300 yards (six laps) on May 9. That’s doable and builds your confidence leading up to the triathlon. Do the same for running and cycling.
Bob and Betty (i.e. you) are our couch potato aspiring triathletes preparing to finish the Ruidoso Sprint Triathlon. Bob’s 2011 athletic peak came when he bowled a 175 while knocking down a few beers and Betty’s highlight was trying to catch her screaming daughter at a five-year-old’s birthday party. Here is their (i.e. your) homework this week.
First, buy swimsuits and swimming goggles. Throw in a cap if you wish.
Since Bob and Betty will need a pool for swimming (and relaxing in the warm moist air), we have a deal at the Ruidoso Athletic Club for triathlon entrants. Sign up for the triathlon at the RAC and purchase a RAC membership, and the RAC will waive the membership registration fees, worth $60. Call the RAC at 575.257.4900 for the best membership program for you.
Second, since Bob and Betty have their running shoes, they will each go out and walk or lightly jog for 15 minutes and do this four times this week.
Go out the door and have fun. Fitness and an enriched lifestyle will come with a consistent goal-oriented program.
Sarah Crewe is a USAT (USA Triathlon) Level 1 coach who coaches triathletes and is a certified RPM, yoga and American Swim Coach Association Level 2 coach. She is lead faculty for health and physical education at ENMU. To contact Sarah Crewe for training or learn more about the Ruidoso Sprint Triathlon, call the Ruidoso Athletic Club at 575.257.4900.
If you have any training questions for Sarah Crewe, email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Selected questions will be answered in conjunction with this weekly column.
Always contact your doctor before beginning physical training and it is advisable to have a personal coach.