What's next down the road of your training?

The summer is winding down, there’s less daylight and it’s getting to that time in our fitness where we start to make some changes in how we approach athletic training for the coming fall and winter. Now is a good time to talk about goal setting.

For most of us, it’s been nearly two full seasons where we haven’t had a chance to test our mettle in an event or race because of Covid. Race organizers have been folding their tents more than opening them and if you’re a competitor like myself, that can really be frustrating. To some degree, Ironman 70.3 events continue to exist in the states, but travel has been restricted so foreigners have been forced to stay home. And there doesn’t seem to be any end to these variants that creep up far as this pandemic goes.

But alas, we need to soldier on and view our glass as half-full rather than half-empty, right?

This past winter and spring, I had my athletes do mock races such as 10k around the Stanley Park seawall. I organized a mini-triathlon at Sasamat Lake in Belcarra. These events, though low key and off the radar, were enormously successful, a testament to the innate desire to compete.

I had the opportunity to sign-up for and race the BC Road Cycling Championships in August and I won the 55+ division…woot woot! Likewise, I signed up for two Gran Fondo bike races a while back, and while the Penticton Fondo was cancelled, Ryder Hesjadal’s Tour de Victoria on October 2 is still on. I have the motivation to train and will continue to prepare as best I can. Targeting these races – having a goal – has literally kept me in the game. The point I’m trying make is that we all need goals to move onwards from where we are! A goal is something we can look forward to accomplishing. And if it’s not an event, then make your short, mid or long term goals something purposeful to you, big or small.

So, yes, goals can be a big deal. I’ve always encouraged my multi-sport endurance athletes to set short term, mid term and long term goals. They all have value!  Short term goals keep you motivated for the present. It could be as simple as committing to doing your strength or yoga routine twice per week consistently. A good mid term goal over the winter is working on a weakness in your fitness. If for example you’re not a strong swimmer, then commit to pool training two to four times per week. Long term goals are my favourite because helping athletes plan, map-out and eventually achieve these successes is extremely rewarding. When athletes nail big long term goals, it confirms my skills as a coach and demonstrates the tenacity of the athlete. Long term goals remind my athletes that they’re in it for the long haul, equipped with a personal plan to guide each individual up, down and along the often bumpy road of training. 

Fitness and training gains, accomplished through setting short, mid and long term goals, are a priority in my athletic life. How about you? Do athletic goals factor into your life? I train a number of athletes that have already signed up for events in 2022. This is the result of thoughtful, progressive training and realistic goal setting and I am very proud of them. As goal setters, we have to believe that we will get through this pandemic and that there will be options to race again. And if we are unable to compete due to COVID, we will find other ways to challenge ourselves. Whether it’s to attempt 10 chin-ups (short term), hike the Grouse Grind in under an hour (mid term), or training for a bike packing trip across Canada next year (long term), it doesn’t matter. Short, mid and long: as long as these goals are realistic, achievable, and based on solid individual training plans, and you give yourself sufficient time to reach these benchmarks: You. Will. Succeed.

To your best efforts,

Andrew Tuovinen,
Athletic Endeavours Personal Training
and Multi-sport Endurance Coaching 

NCCP & Triathlon Canada Certified Level 2 Coach
Canfit & BCRPA Certified Personal Trainer

Call 604-340-6767, or use the contact form below, to start a conversation about your athletic endeavours.