Guest poster Don Blount sets goals for his biking. Do you?
What are your biking goals?
And how committed are you to reaching those goals?
After returning to the bike at the end of July, I set a few biking goals.
1) Ride 100 miles a week.
2) Ride 400 miles a month.
I chose those figures after talking to my doctor, who is also a cyclist and has encouraged me to ride.
I am active but was not getting regular aerobic activity. My riding was irregular depending on the demands of my job and family commitments. As a result I had some suspicious health indicators. My blood pressure was a bit elevated (stress) and tests showed that my glucose levels were high, meaning I had a sign of becoming pre-diabetic. A history of high blood pressure and diabetes runs in my family and I wanted to stay as far away as possible from any health problems that could be avoided with proper management.
It was time to take my exercising a bit further and lose that nagging 10-12 extra pounds and get in better shape.
So I turned to the bike.
In August I rode 402 miles and in September I rode 425 miles. My mantra became “every little bit helps.” I rode metric centuries, I rode short recovery rides. But I rode whenever I could and I also managed to get to the gym.
I only fell short of the 100 mile weekly goal just once in two months.
I am riding more often, farther and harder than I had before I committed to those goals.
As the weather cools and the days get shorter, I may have to adjust. But for now I am leaving my goals unchanged, instead I have been preparing my warmers, rain gear and rollers.
I enjoy the satisfaction of texting my doctor at the end of the week to let him know my totals. He is always encouraging. For me, I learned how committing to a fitness goal motivated me and helped me. More importantly, my bike fitness is improving, my weight is dropping and I am having fun.
What about you?
Mel Hughes says
I returned to bicycling this summer after a several year hiatus. A friend who also used to ride saw my road bike and asked me if I would ride with him if he got a road bike. I reluctantly agreed.
I work 12 hour shifts, 7 days on/7 days off. These rotate between days and nights every other month. When I work days, it is very hard to ride, especially as the days get shorter and shorter. But working nights, I find I can make time in the afternoons for shorter rides. On the off weeks, I try to ride with my friend at least three times. The end result is that my mileage has not been anywhere near what you have done. But the benefits I have seen have been great. My blood pressure is down significantly. I have lost a little weight and clothes fit much more comfortably.
I am going to have to investigate commuting to work at least through the fall and early winter. It is only 10 miles each way but adding a 40 minute commute on each end of a 12 + hour day is not very attractive, especially as both commutes will be in the dark in a very rural area. I am still not sure about this.
Still, the bottom line was that I will turn 60 in December. As we started riding this summer, I thought to myself, “If I don’t start back now, when will I?” It was certainly time! My current goal is to ride a metric century on my birthday. So far, I have ridden 30 and 35 mile rides but nothing as long as the metric century yet. 1+ mile for each year seems to be a reasonable and attainable goal for me at this point.
Good going, Mel! My goal setting has been more short-term. I had a goal of completing the MS150 last April, so I rode increasing distances in the weeks before. I will ride the Outlaw Trail 100 this weekend, so I’ve been extending my long rides in the past several weeks. But I have never committed to setting and meeting weekly or monthly distance goals. I wonder what the chances would be of goals contributing to burnout?
Mel, great to hear that you are getting on the bike.
What is important is doing something! @Bikenoob, yes goals can contribute to burnout if you allow the goals to manage you instead of you managing them.
I had goals when I was new to road biking a few years ago. Without any reason I simply stopped setting goals and just road.
I still have generic goals that are tour related. Things like riding around Lake Ontario. Doing the Erie Canal again. Most are 1-2 week adventures than they are goals though.
That Lake Ontario looks like a great trip. You can find several accounts with pictures of bike clubs that have done it.