Strides To Success: Goal Setting For Fitness & Athletics

In this article I am going to write about the process of setting goals. For me these goals are related to Endurance Sports although the same principles will apply for any goal you would like to achieve whether athletic, cleaning up your nutrition or personal. As 2018 quickly approaches many of you may already be thinking about New Years Resolutions. We would like you to take time and think about your whole year, what you really want to accomplish and set a Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely goal or even multiple goals.

This is what we will be helping you with when you attend our Strides To Success Clinic on December 27th, 6-7pm

Each year we encourage all of the PSL family as well as you reading this newsletter to plan ahead. We have found year after year clients who do this are successful reaching their goals and often times achieve better than what was desired! 

In 2019, our coaches are going to train to compete in Ironman Wisconsin. For us this is going to take a lot of focus and commitment to our plan.

What is the secret? We will be going over this all on December 27th as we believe in setting big goals. Goals so bit they seem unattainable right now. Then we use the “SMART” system for developing yearly goals for fitness and athletics. 

Over 10 years ago I made a gaol to do an Ironman, this I knew was an attainable goal, I then also set a goal of doing an Ironman under 11 hours. It took me 3 Ironman events and a coach to accomplish this goal. At times it continued to feel unattainable. I remember Coeur d' Alene 2015 running in 106 degree heat, watching athlete after athlete drop off of the course. I was the fittest I thought I had ever been and my 11 hour goal quickly faded away. I walked up to my father on mile 13.1 of the run to tell him I was done. I will never forget what he told me "Son you have came this far, you may as well finish, because if you don't you will regret it your whole life and you will never reach that goal you are chasing. Finish strong and you will get it at the next Ironman."  

These are wise words from a wise man. I took this advise and in 2016 prepared my annual training plan to focus on speed and 70.3 events. I did the same planning and preparation for 2017 including another attempt at my goal at Ironman Santa Rosa and in 2017 I reached my goal of being a sub 11 hour Ironman. It is the process that leads to the results. What is my goal for Wisconsin? Well my big goal is a 10:30:00 Ironman. I have chose one of the more difficult courses in Ironman to go for it. Why? Because I believe in the challenge, the dream, putting together a plan and taking systematic steps to turn that dream into a goal. I know I will do everything I can to accomplish it until I am successful. This is exactly what myself, coach Mark Alfaro and coach Shiloh Beckerley do for our clients. We help you dream big and build the confidence, the power and performance to be successful. 

Lets break it down

“SMART” is an acronym for Specific , Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely

Example Goal: Sub 10:30:00 Ironman


1. I will train (swim/bike/run) 5 times per week for 20 weeks

2. I will strength train 3 times a week for 45 minutes

3. I will perform stretching exercises and foam roll for 20 minutes every day

Measurable – On September 8, 2018 (20 weeks) I will swim 2.4 miles in 1:15:00, Bike 112 miles in 5:25:00, Run a Marathon in 3:35:00​

Attainable – Is your goal too aggressive? Do you have the time and commitment to train? Are there other commitments that may get in the way of this goal? Do I have injuries or other health issues that will prevent me from attaining this goal?

Relevant – Is this goal in line with my overall fitness goals?


Timely – When is the best time to train/race? Are you able to adapt and train during the cold winter months or the hot summer months?

Next we would break this down into smaller goals and races throughout the annual training plan. 

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