Episode 140 - Goals in the time of Corona

The goal-setting episode was very helpful to formalize what I do mentally at the end of each season (and promptly forget 2 months later).

How would you assess the 2020 season if you didn’t have a chance to race at all?

Some of the things I did was to set different types of goals…But first thing I did was reflect on why I do all this biking and training. I realized I got into it to make my life better by being more fit and able to do activities with my family and better enjoy vacations by being able to do ride.

In general, as I review my year after listening to the pod, my goals had a training and performance element along with an overall mission of keeping things “sane” for myself and being able to spend time with my wife and kids during this time and minimize the training “grumpiness” I may get during a normal year, to be able to keep life as good as possible.

…back on topic…

In the pod they mentioned 2 types of goals performance and training.
I made sure I made a decent training that allowed me to keep up a decent level of fitness and being able to not be too fried mentally to be able to spend time with my family and make sure I am there for them during this time. So, just sticking to my training plan over 80% (making workouts and some measurement of duration and intensity) was one that would be considered a training goal.

I also wanted to focus on both my aerobic fitness and 5 minute power. So, I did baseline for workouts at the beginning of planned block and then compared after a few cycles to see progression. This can be considered my performance goal.


Great question @betapark. It has been a challenging year in so many ways, but hopefully you were still able to ride and experiment in different ways. It’s those experiments that can be assessed in much the same way you would analyze races and performances in a typical season.

For example, in 2020 I tried to do several longer, point to point rides that were a little bigger than what I’d typically ever do, in that 125-150 mile range. I learned some things. Some were simple positives (e.g., I survived, and it wasn’t as bad as I expected, meaning I do have the mental component to push through into slightly unknown territory even without specific preparation). In other ways I was more critical: I could have fueled better, I could have paced better, etc.

Hopefully you can look back on what you did in 2020 and find examples like this, or rides that were somewhat atypical to see how you handled them, looking at both the positive and negative aspects.

There’s also all kinds of data you can use, and not just power and HR. If you do record those things, then you hopefully know what to look for to see trends in the right direction when it comes to physiological progress. I’m not one of those people, so I focus more on other trends and patterns, even down to things like ride consistency, weekly and monthly load, and so forth.

In the end, during a year like this, it comes down to being a bit creative with how you look at what you did, how you executed, and, as always, being honest with yourself.

Hope that helps.


@betapark, great question, and like Chris, I have some similar feelings about 2020. Also, as @bgkeen said, there was definitely more reflection on the “why” of this whole thing. I enjoyed doing more soul riding and exploring ways to find that pure joy of cycling to help answer the question of “why do I do this?”

At some points in the year, I felt the urge to go hit a really solid interval block. I came out of it properly tired, and learned some more things about pacing and mental strategies to get through. In the end, what I learned is that there is this cool sport called cycling that I’ve been doing for a very long time. I’m your run of the mill middle-packer, but if without racing, I can very much enjoy the journey, and focus on health. So all of those fun metrics shifted from looking at them from a race/performance standpoint into a health outcome goal. Stay fit, have fun, sleep well, recover well, etc. That’s what 2020 turned into essentially - was I able to make a positive change in my health and enjoyment of the sport while balancing other life responsibilities?

Definitely spurred some creativity, and it made for a pretty good “off” year!
Coach Ryan


Yeah, I definitely did have more blocks where the goal was to reconnect to “enjoying the ride” and enjoying the scenery. It was good to be out and looking at the sunrise, the valley below, etc, rather than had a 25mm wide piece of rubber in front of me :slight_smile: