Goal Setting Part Two: Engaging the Process
The first step in goal setting is to outline your Outcome Goals for the season which set out the desired performance result (see SMART goal setting). If the Outcome Goals are broken down into a series of steps, then the journey towards success is mapped out in a clearly defined and measurable way. In that way, even if a race day doesn’t end up as planned due to unforeseen factors (i.e. a flat tire or another disaster occurs) then there can be a lot of satisfaction in going through the process and knowing that there has been improvement.
Setting Process Goals is the next step in goal setting. These goals should reflect controllable development of fitness, strategy or skills on a shorter timeline. By focusing on improving these aspects of your racing you can map the route to achieving your Outcome Goals. To establish a Process Goal you must first set out the timeline for your Outcome Goal. Next, break this timeline down into smaller objectives with associated dates that lead you in a focused and purposeful way to the date you plan to attempt your Outcome Goal. For instance, if your outcome goal is to run 10 minutes faster for the run in a half Ironman race in July and you begin training in January, you have a seven month timeline to work with. Some ideas on how to break that Outcome Goal into Process Goals might look like the following. Keep in mind, these are goals to focus your running objectives within your overall run training program. On their own, process goals are not the training. They are simply goals that allow you to monitor and focus your training to maximize your potential success in achieving the stated Outcome Goal.
January – Build hip strength and stability through a focused strength program. Get up to three sets of ten one leg squats.
February – Complete a six week technical running course to maximize efficiency. See improvement in video by end of course.
March – Build up tempo running at goal pace. Be at 30 minutes comfortable at goal pace by end of April.
April – Start working on mental approach in training. Focus on thoughts during hard workouts and how to turn them to positive affirmations. Test this on tough workout days.
May – Incorporate tempo runs at goal pace with bike workouts. Complete 30 minutes at goal pace off the bike by the end of May.
June – Run a time trial at slightly faster than goal “off the bike” pace for 21km as a negative split.
July – Fine tune mental approach. Attempt your Outcome Goal at your key race.
Process Goals need to be measurable and realistic within a short time frame. This will help you to focus your attention, mobilize your effort, maintain your persistence and develop your strategies for race day.
By specifying and monitoring Process Goals, you can celebrate smaller improvements as you build towards your Outcome Goal. If you look at all your training days as small opportunities for achievement, or even as mini process goals, these small achievements will one day add up to a big one.
As published in Triathlete Magazine 2012
Tumeric is a root from the ginger family. The rhizomes have a ginger-pepper flavor which is used to flavor curry powder, prepared mustard, dressing, cheeses and butter. This is the spice that lends the bright yellow/orange color to many different curry powders.
Tumeric has been employed in nutritional medicine for centuries. The active phytochemical in turmeric is curcumin, which has antioxidant properties that prevent the formation of, and neutralize existing, free radicals. Studies have shown that curcumin can inhibit molecules in the body that trigger the inflammation response. Reducing inflammation will aid in the recovery and regeneration of tissue, which is the main goal after your training. One potentially negative effect of curcumin is that it stimulates bile secretion and acts as a blood-thinner, so those with biliarly tract obstruction or taking an anticoagulant for blood clots would want to avoid this spice.
Enlisting the anti-inflammatory benefits of curcumin can be delicious. The most common use of this spice is as the main character in curried meals. One of my favorites is curried lentil soup. I add heaping piles of kale to this soup to really increase the health benefit but you can omit this portion of the recipe if you prefer a more traditional (and far less green) lentil soup or substitute another green, leafy vegetable you might prefer. Enjoy!
Curried Lentil Soup
· 8 cups water
· 1 tbsp coconut oil
· 3 cups red lentils (rinse repeatedly then drain water in a strainer)
· 1.5 tsp kosher salt
· 3 cans coconut milk
· 1 tbsp coconut oil
· 1 large onion, diced
· 2 cloves garlic, minced
· 4 tsp fresh ginger, minced
· 3 tsp ground turmeric
· 2 tsp ground coriander
· 2 tsp roasted cumin seeds
· One large bunch of kale, washed and chopped
Combine the water, coconut oil, lentils and salt into a large pot. Bring to a boil then turn down to simmer for 20 to 25 minutes.
Add the coconut milk and continue to simmer gently.
Heat a dry frying pan over high heat. Add cumin seeds and roast for 2-3 minutes until they start to smell fragrant. Remove and crush in a mortar and pestle then add to the soup (if you don’t have a mortar and pestle the seeds themselves are still tasty added directly to the soup.)
Add another tablespoon of coconut oil to the warmed frying pan (you don’t need to wash it after the cumin), melt the oil and add the diced onion. Sweat the onions for 2-3 minutes on medium-high heat and add the rest of the garlic and spices to the pan. Cook until the onions are brown then put the entire contents of the pan into the soup.
Add the chopped kale. Simmer for 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy!
Chainani-wu N. Safety and Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Curcumin: A Component of Tumeric (Curcuma longa). 2003. The J of Alt and Comp Med 9(1):161-8
I will be posting regularly on Triathlete Magazine Canada's online magazine as well as writing for the back page of the print version. The online contributions will be on a variety of topics, the first of which is part of a series on organizing your thoughts to better estabilish and plan your goals for the race season.
Mel's Musing - SMART Goals