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20-01-2023 | Peter Koens

Training properly this winter: setting goals (part 1)

Many of us set cycling goals. It is the way to train motivated throughout the winter. December and January are the perfect months to make plans and set cycling goals for the new year. Some want to ride faster, others want to ride further and still others want to finish a nice gran fondo. Whatever cycling goal you have - chances are you will have to train to have a chance of actually reaching it. But how do you make sure you actually achieve your goals?

Achieve goals
Photo: Patrick Güller

1. Write it down!

Setting a goal is easy, of course. But how do you make sure you stay motivated to train to achieve your goal? For example, by not just leaving it in your head. Write down your goal. Preferably with pen and paper, not on a computer of smartphone. Research shows that people who write down their goals are more likely to achieve them. 

2. Look at it every day

We all have busy lives. Work, kids, partner and also a social life. That takes up a lot of attention and time, so it's easy to lose sight of your goal - especially if that goal is far in the future. So make sure you don't lose sight of your goal. After you write down your goal, hang it in a place where you can see it every day. Preferably as one of the first things in the morning. So that your ultimate goal - even though you have all kinds of things to do every day - doesn't disappear from sight.

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3. Make the goal as specific as possible

Riding a gran fondo can be a goal in itself. But if you want to ride a certain ranking or time: write this down as well! Make your goal as specific as possible, don't keep it vague. By making your goal as specific as possible, you will be more likely to do everything you can to achieve that goal.

4. Make a plan

By this I mean you are going to plan what and when you are going to do to achieve your goal. Between now and the date of the gran fondo, all kinds of things will happen in your life that will require time and attention. Before you know it, the big day is here. You've spent a lot of money. Have you traveled abroad to ride that beautiful gran fondo. Then when you haven't prepared properly, the chances of disappointment are high. A plan (with intermediate goals) can be, for example, a tight training schedule but also just a calendar showing when you will do which bike rides in preparation.

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