Last season I wrote a post about my goals for 2015. In that post I pointed out that setting goals like “win a race” can be dangerous, since they are externally-focused rather than internally-focused. Instead, I focused on setting internally-focused goals, even if they were “fuzzier”.

This year I will do the same. While I do have external goals for next year, I realize that judging the worth of my season based on these external goals is dangerous. After all, winning involves a lot of luck, and I want my goals to be attainable based on the work I put in, rather than on other people crashing or winning a sprint by a bike throw. So without further ado, here are my 2016 goals in chronological order:

  1. Commit to real base training, with 3-4 weeks prep, 2 months of long base miles, and 1 month base + intervals. Last year I tried to stick to a rigid plan with certain workouts on certain days, and this led to injuries because I didn’t want to skip sessions. This year I’m going to be more flexible in the hopes of actually doing more base miles (by avoiding injury). Right now I’m in the “prep” period, and hopefully will be out of it by Dec. 1.
  2. Have the fitness to race competitively in April and May. These past two seasons I’ve floundered in April and May, and came into form in June and July. But this year I will be graduating and probably moving in July, so who knows if I’ll even be around racing at that point. Thus I need to acquire fitness earlier, which means doing my base miles, and then starting harder riding a little earlier than usual.
  3. Raise my FTP. These past two seasons my FTP has been my weak point. I did well in races based solely on my sprint and tactics. That’s fine, but I’d like to be a more well-rounded cyclist. I’d like at least a 10% increase over last season’s high, though I feel like picking specific numbers is kind of silly. Instead I just want to put in good base miles, and then do longer intervals in March and maybe late February. As long as I’m truly working towards this result, I’ll be happy with myself no matter the numbers.
  4. Race more. I tend to race fairly infrequently, largely due to the belief that my body can’t handle multiple days of racing back-to-back. I’m not sure if that was true or not last season, but this season I want to address that concern by putting in the miles. At the end of last season I really focused on riding more, and I saw this pay dividends in my performance.

Guess it’s time to get to work!