How to Set Triathlon Season Goals

A triathlon usually includes swimming, biking and running.

A triathlon usually includes swimming, biking and running.

A triathlon typically includes swimming, running and bicycling. Even if you are a beginner who just wants to finish the race, goals are important in order to achieve the training needed for such a strenuous event. If you are a returning triathlete and want to improve, goals are also very important. Goals often produce the motivation needed to achieve things that may seem impossible. Yet, they can also lead to disappointment if they aren’t met. Knowing how to set triathlon season goals can help you to have fun on race day.

Write it down. Keeping a record of your goals will help to motivate you and also help to track your improvement.

Take a look at your goals from last year and build on them. If you didn’t meet the goals you set, analyze why you didn’t. Were they too high or too low? Did you really train enough to reach the goals? When you have an honest answer to these questions, it will be easier to set new goals for the upcoming season.

Be specific. Don't just plan to run or bike faster than you do now. Decide how many minutes you would like to take on each section of the race. Have a goal to not miss more than a certain number of days of training each month. If you don’t want to focus on time, make a goal of doing the running section without stopping to walk. If you just want to finish the race, write that down too.

Be realistic. Your goals should be a challenge, but also attainable. If you’ve never done a triathlon before, just finishing the race is a good goal. If you have done one, try to improve your time by a few minutes. Don’t try to drastically decrease your time in each section of the race, because it will probably only result in disappointment. Also, focus on things that you can control. Since you likely don’t know all of the competitors in the race, aim for a time goal rather than being in the top 20. You can’t control injuries, flat tires, crashes or other potential disasters, so remain positive. Having fun on race day is already an achievement.

Warning

  • Talk to your doctor before beginning any new exercise program.
 

About the Author

Though constantly traveling the world, Julia Williams is based in Chicago and has been writing since 2006. Williams holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting. She is also a licensed fitness instructor, specializing in Pilates since 2003 and has written hundreds of articles on exercise and health.

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