Helpful Training Tips for the Blue Collar Worker with Seiji Ishii
Determining Season Goals
Where are you going? How will you get there? These are questions that you should have answers to before embarking on a training program. Goal setting and creating training objectives based on these goals will allow you to always move forward instead of wandering aimlessly in a random training pattern. Every training session should have a congruent purpose designed to keep you progressing towards your season goals. Knowing what you are doing and why you are doing it will also keep you motivated in the long term; you will always see that the actions you are taking today will ultimately lead to your goals in the future.
The first step in the goal setting procedure is to determine your “A” priority events. These events are the most important and your fitness will peak for these races, trips, etc. All other events during the season will occur with fitness either being on the rise towards the “A” events or on the decline after them. A seasoned athlete can peak up to three times per season and thus can have three A-priority events. These events can be series championships or a big trip to Baja, not your usual weekend event.
The next step in goal setting is to determine your season goals based on your A-priority events. This is arguably the most important action in planning your season. It is critical at this point to understand the difference between a dream and a goal; a dream takes longer than a season to accomplish while a goal can be reached within a season.
Example: a local racer is winning their classes locally; a dream would be to become a factory rider but a goal would be to win a local winter race series. Goals need to be challenging but they also need to be reasonable. You must honestly believe that with hard work and dedication that you can achieve your goals. If you set goals that are too high then deep down inside you will know that you cannot reach this goal and your commitment level to training will fade. Your goals need to be measurable (number oriented), under your control (“I want to win this race,” not, “I want to win this race if Joe crashes”) and they must stretch you.
Examples of season goals based on A-priority events:
1) Top 5 finish in x class at my state/region WORCS-style championship race.
2) Top 10 finish in my local winter series from x date to x date.
3) Top 15 finish in x class at the closest WORCS event.
Each A-priority race should have a season goal to go along with it so when you are done with this critical step you should have two to three season goals.
Determining Training Objectives
The final step in the goal setting procedure is to create training objectives based on the season goals you determined and your personal performance limiters. Limiters are specific riding techniques or parts of fitness/health are currently holding you back in your development of overall riding ability (covered in the last Coach Seiji installment here at Dirt Rider). These limiters are determined by a careful self-assessment from the prior season. An example of a specific technique limiter would be “right handed cornering technique.” An example of a fitness/health limiter would be “poor dietary habits.” Write down your personal limiters and write down your first season goal. Will any of your limiters prevent or impede you from reaching this season goal? The answer is probably yes so you will need to improve these limiters through specific training.
List these limiters underneath the first season goal and repeat this procedure for all your season goals. Now you will use each of these limiters to create a training objective. A training objective is a training goal that specifically addresses the limiter. When listing training objectives under each season goal, specify a way to measure improvement in each limiter and put a time limit on doing so. Here are some examples:
Goal: A top 5 finish in x class at my state/region WORCS style championship race.
Personal limiters to this goal: aerobic conditioning, cornering technique, dietary habits.
1) Improve aerobic conditioning: complete a 25-mile road bicycle ride in 1 hour and 20 minutes by June 30th, 2014.
2) Improve cornering technique: complete one lap on my corner track in 35 seconds by July 15th, 2014.
3) Dietary habits: track diet and change to 40% carbohydrate, 30 % protein, 30% fat intake ratios by August 15th, 2014.
When you have completed this procedure for each goal, you will probably have between one and three training objectives for each season goal. This means you will have between 3 to 9 training objectives for the entire season. These training objectives become the focal point of your training activities. They can also be adjusted through the season as you improve upon your limiters and even be eliminated through your directed and purposeful training! Sitting down with the event calendar, going through the goal setting procedure and creating your training objectives may seem to be a far cry from carving through the trees at practice but it is no less important in the quest to improve your riding performance. This is a very important process to go through each year to ensure that your training has direction and your efforts and dedication are always moving you steadily towards your goals.
Seiji Ishii is the head coach of www.coachseiji.com. Coachseiji.com provides online coaching and personal training services to motorsports athletes. Coach Seiji has worked with both pros and elite amateurs including: Andrew Short, Jason Anderson, Jimmy Albertson, Heath Voss, Ryan Clark, Matt Lemoine, Hunter Hewitt, PJ Larsen and babysits Dirt Rider all arounder Kris Keefer. Learn more at www.coachseiji.com or contact Coach Seiji directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.