My race has been cancelled… Now What?
Colleen Sager, M.S., Sport Psychology Consultant
As many of us try our best to navigate through the daily challenges faced with COVID-19 restrictions, including the cancellation of our favorite past time, watching and training for sports – now is a good time to revisit your training/racing goals for 2020.
Here’s a quick refresher about setting SMART Goals:
Specific – You can’t be too specific, leave no detail behind
Measurable – Make the goal quantifiable
Adjustable – When life hits you, your goals need to be flexible and adjustable
Relevant – Is it a worthwhile goal?
Timely – What is the deadline for reaching your goal?
Goals are important for both you and your coach to stay on track during the season. It’s good to have both long term (your “A” race) and short term (daily or weekly) goals, both of which are vital stepping stones to reach your ultimate goal. Remember that reaching your ultimate goal is not just about being in peak fitness on race day. Nutrition, hydration, rest and being mentally prepared are all equally important. Since you have this opportunity to take this time to reassess your goals, make sure they include all aspects of performance, not just the physical ones.
Whether your race has been cancelled or simply postponed, recognize that the “timely” aspect of your goals has changed, appreciate that you have the option to adjust them and think about how to best use this time to move forward. Changing the deadline for you to reach your goal could mean you want to spend this extra time working on a specific weakness, or maybe you want to spend more time with your family, or you’re THAT person whose wants to crush all the records on Zwift – yeah I know you’re out there! Once you get closer to race day and training restrictions aren’t as strict, you can adjust your goals again and get back on track with your initial training plan.
Some of you may be in limbo about what you want from your race season now that races have been cancelled and your training has been restricted. Use this time to reflect on your sport, the love you have for it, the sacrifices you are willing, and not willing to make, and ask yourself, “how can I build on my strengths?” How can I improve my weaknesses? What exactly am I hoping to gain from training? Competing? Asking yourself all of these questions and answering them honestly will help you discover what you want from the rest of this race season and help you set your goals accordingly.
While it may feel like it to some, this season isn’t over. Keep training. Keep your head up, and adjust your goals (Is that written on a t-shirt somewhere?). Reach out to your coach and ask for advice on what they think you can do to stay active until we get through this chapter in history. Until then, be well and wash your hands.
If you have specific questions for Colleen, or would like more information about working with her, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.