January 7, 2012

New Season, New Goals

I don't make resolutions. Resolutions are born from excess holiday gluttony and unrealistic hope that this year will finally be THE year you lose that 20 pounds, get washboard abs or ride your bicycle across the country in record time. But all too often, these lofty dreams are dead by March and it's just another year like the last one.

However, I do set new goals for each new training season, and my 2012 season just happened to begin on January 3. I had to be somewhat conservative with performance goals given my history of chronic plantar fasciitis and the latest setback post-Ironman, but have many areas to improve regarding general health and training efficiency. To make myself more accountable, here are my 2012 goals:
  1. Cut the Sugar. Sugar is my diet nemesis and leads to all manner of unhealthy eating and generally makes me feel awful. I'm going to aim for the 90/10 rule and try to avoid it as much and as often as possible. I've done this before successfully so I know how to do it. I just have to do it.
  2. Drink More Water. Somehow my laziness has trickled over to my approach to hydration and I'm always at a deficit. Want to feel and look better almost instantly? Drink more water. Easy enough, right?
  3. Reduce Coffee Intake. I cried a little as I wrote this, but the four-coffees-a-day habit I acquired after my month of European travel left me feeling pretty toxic. I'd like to have no more than two per day, that seems reasonable.
  4. Actually Swim When I Swim. I swim like a rock when solo in the lane, but when forced to circle, I can suddenly move through the water. I'm lazy, I know it, but if I'm going to drag myself to the pool I'd like to actually get something out of it so I vow to put real effort into my swim workouts this season (which is a notch up from not even doing my swim workouts last season).
  5. Train With Purpose. I tend to slip into auto-pilot during bike and run workouts as well so my goal is to maximize every minute I spend training. No more mindless trainer spinning while watching back-to-back episodes of Pawn Stars. I'm busy and can barely find the time to train so I want to make it count.
  6. Sleep. This is the hardest goal and I hesitate to set it, but I know I can't recover and be my best without more sleep. I'm trying to figure out how to be more efficient with my time so I can sleep at least seven hours a night... for now. When the 4am wake-ups start it will be difficult.
I've already made some progress. I didn't blow off either swim workout this week and actually put effort into it and I just finished my annual New Year's cleanse, which should have me weaned off sugar and caffeine for awhile.

Do you make resolutions or set goals? What are yours for this year?

In closing I leave you with this incredible guide to navigating the gym, written especially for the resolutionists. Here's to a great 2012 season!


  1. Great goals!

    As for your swim workouts, do you go to the pool with a plan? Or just go and swim? If it is the latter rather than the former, I'd recommend something like Swim Workouts for Triathletes in a Binder. Just flip through, pick a workout and you get it done. It keeps me much more honest. If you are interested, I could shoot you a couple samples from the book.

  2. I so should add sleep to my list this year. Its almost 1am and Im wide awake while the newborn is sleeping... meaning as soon as I go to bed she will decide to wake up at 3am, 430am ect. I so should be in bed at 10pm.

    My goals this year - run my second marathon, learn to actually swim for exercise instead of for fun, spend some more quality time with my hubby.


  3. Good luck with the no sugar! I finally realized I'm an "all or nothing" person. I can't do moderation. But most days I don't miss sugar anyway.



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