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Training & advice

Outcome, performance and process goals

Working towards a goal or target can boost your motivation and keep your training consistent.

When setting your goal, the first thing to consider is whether or not you are in control of your goal. If your goal is to win a race or achieve a certain position, chances are that you cannot be in complete control because you can't influence what your competitors are doing. If you are all as good as each other and you all train, prepare and race as effectively as each other the end result can be difficult to predict and it may just come down to luck. You can be in control, however, if your goal is to set a personal best time or distance. Whatever your goal may be, you would be well advised to think about all the factors that will underpin it and that you are able to control. Here we look at three types of goals:

OUTCOME - This is the result or the end (singular) goal that you are working towards.

PERFORMANCE GOALS - These are the performance levels that you need to be able to achieve if you are to reach the outcome. These should encompass physical, technical and tactical, psychological, functional movement and lifestyle markers.

PROCESS GOALS - These are the things that you need to do if you are to achieve the performance factors.

For example, John's goals are:

OUTCOME GOAL - What is my main target for the year? - To finish in the top 250 at the Vitality Reading Half Marathon and so be on the runbritain Grand Prix leaderboard.

PERFORMANCE GOALS - What performance standards will I need to reach to be able to achieve this? -

  1. To be able to run a half marathon in under 85 minutes. (Physical)
  2. To land with foot under centre of mass on every foot strike (Technical)
  3. To record training and plan ahead (Psychological)
  4. Refuel effectively after training (Lifestyle)
  5. To be able to balance on one leg for 30 seconds (Functional Movement Skills)

PROCESS GOALS - What training will I have to do to reach the performance standards?

  1. Two speed-endurance sessions per week plus a monitoring session every three weeks over 6 X 1km working towards each one in 3:40
  2. Drills session once a week with focus on 'A' Walk and 'A' Skip
  3. Keep a training log
  4. Take a chocolate milk and snack with me so that I can refuel after every intense session
  5. Stand on one leg whilst brushing teeth every morning and every night

Once you have set these goals you can put a plan in place that incorporates the process goals as well as monitoring the sessions to keep a check on your progress.