Hello! My name is Erin and I'm a new employee at Rocktown! I graduated from James Madison University in 2015 with an B.S. degree in Kinesiology. I am currently working towards my Masters in Exercise Physiology at JMU. I have been competing in triathlons since I began college, and absolutely love them! I have also found a love for cycling, thanks to the beautiful mountains I have found around here. After I graduate, I aspire to coach triathletes--and eventually work with elite and high performance triathletes. I love the sport and I also love helping others learn and grow.
As the school year comes to an end, it is time to set some training and race goals for the summer! At the end of April, I raced in Collegiate Nationals, but had disappointing performances in two of my three races. Looking back, I can attribute this to losing focus in regards to my training plan and ultimate goal of constantly improving myself each time I race.
Starting more broad, then narrowing them down, here are my goals--
Goal 1: Follow the Plan
I have noticed that I am prone to changing the days for my workouts, changing the workouts entirely (especially if I am feeling particularly exhausted), or just doing whatever I feel like. While training flexibility is crucial to ensuring an athlete does not get over-trained, there are physiological reasons for the way training plans are set up by coaches. Even if you have created your own plan for the week, it is important to remain accountable to the plan you have set before you. My hope for this summer is to regain diligence in following the plan my coach has put before me.
Goal 2: Travel New Places to Race!
I have five years of experience racing, however I have not raced in many unique or new places. This summer I plan to travel to new places in Virginia and West Virginia (College budget keeps HUGE travel mostly out of my reach, but maybe one day!), but also Nebraska for Nationals. I also hope to visit Colorado after Nationals before I make my way back to Harrisonburg! I want to be able to look back on my triathlon experience and know that it enriched me as a person, and not just an athlete. That way, when races don't go so well (which we all know happens), I have other experiences tied in with the race that I can remember fondly.
Goal 3: Qualify for Worlds at Age Group Nationals
Age Group Nationals this year are in Omaha, Nebraska on August 13th (another place I have never visited!). I plan to do the Olympic Distance (1500m swim, 40k bike, 10k run), and my goal is to qualify for Worlds in my age group. The top 18 finishers from each age group will represent USA in Worlds in the Netherlands in the fall! After looking at results from last year's nationals, I believe this is well within my reach, so long as I adhere to goal number 1. Whether you are trying to qualify for another race, or simply racing for the sake of racing, I believe it is important to set a goal for race day. You can choose to set performance goals or goals to improve one of the three legs. Setting a goal for that race in the first place helps keep your attention focused on the days that you may be inclined to hit snooze on that alarm clock instead of going to workout.
Whether you are a recreational athlete or competitive one, goal setting is important for every one of us. While it helps you maintain focus day in and day out during the (sometimes grueling) training process, goal setting also has other benefits. Goals that are well created can help us reflect on our process and determine if we are growing or staying stagnant.
What are your goals for the summer?!