Goals and targets are what motivate us to go out and train that little bit harder, or in some cases, to just get yourself out the house and doing exercise. Goals and targets can be especially beneficial at this time of the year, with the cold days and dark nights, they give us something to aim for and to look forward to.
Nathan says: "A goal could be, for example, to lose a certain amount of weight for a sporting event or even just for a social occasion, where you want to look your best. I got married last year and in the months leading up to the wedding my Mum kept saying “I need to lose weight so I can get into my dress!” It could also be to reach a certain level of fitness, where you know you will meet a specific target, like a set time in a running race or a gold standard in a cycle sportive. If that goal is there, the motivation is there, which will always help you to achieve your target. My personal goal over the last two years has been to win the Beverley Town Centre cycle race. I have come pretty close, managing to finish 2nd in each of the last 2 years. This event is one of the biggest cycle events in our area and I know for a fact it is a goal of many of our race team members at Wilsons Wheels Race Team! We want to do our absolute best and if possible, win! Unfortunately, at the moment, this event might not go ahead due to the current organiser stepping down, which is a real shame."
An example of training for a cycling goal, which can also be transferred into many other sports, is to build up training, gradually getting the base fitness first, or base miles as we call them and basically building up your fitness and stamina. When you then get closer to your targeted event, say a month before, start working on speed, involving more high intensity work outs, while doing less endurance or base miles. Getting towards a week to the event, you will then look to taper your exercise and really wind down, so that you are fully recovered and fresh for the event.
Nathan said: "One of my good friends from Beverley has entered a 24-hour mountain bike race at the end of January, up in the North of Scotland, called the Strathpuffer. This week he is tapering and eating lots of food, essentially carbo-loading for the event as it will require him to burn tens of thousands of calories. He’s therefore allowed to eat as much food as he can, within reason, which I am sure he is thoroughly enjoying! For shorter events, though, you wouldn’t need to carbo-load!"
Read Nathan's columns every month in Just Beverley magazine. If you are inspired, Nathan can be found in his own cycle shop, Wilsons Wheels, 89 Grovehill Road, Beverley 01482 882881. www.wilsonswheels.co.uk