August 15, 2012

My cycling goals for the rest of 2012

I'll be doing a fair bit of this for the rest of the year.

I’ll be doing a fair bit of this for the rest of the year.

Much of the cycling I do is more or less aimless. Sure, I train up for events like 3 Peaks every so often, but most of the time I’m just riding because it’s fun, because I like staying fit and because I enjoy the social side of cycling. But I find it useful to have a goal to work towards; something that can help focus my efforts and give greater structure and purpose to the cycling I’m doing.

For this reason I’ve decided to set a few targets for myself, the most significant of which is to ride 10,000km in 2012. I know these sorts of resolutions are supposed to come at the start of the year, but in January I had no real idea of how many kilometres I could realistically cover in a year. Now I’ve got a bit of an idea.

As of yesterday (Tuesday August 14) it was exactly 20 weeks until the end of the year. At that point I’d done roughly 5,540km for the year which means I’ve got 20 weeks in which to ride 4,460km. That’s 223km per week.

Some of you out there will be saying ‘Pfft! Big deal!’ but for me 223km in a week is quite a bit. So far this year I’ve averaged 173km a week, meaning I’ll need to find another 50km a week on top of what I’m already doing. I know I can manage 223km in a week — hell, I did 220km just last weekend — but sustaining that over 20 weeks will be a challenge.

My plan is to do a longer ride every Saturday or Sunday, with perhaps a shorter ride on the opposing day. As well as my commutes (17km per day) I’ll need to do some more mid-week riding. That will become a more appealing prospect once daylight savings arrives and it starts warming up.

So that’s the main goal. But I’m keen for it not to become a quest for junk kilometres just to hit a target. I want to use the extra time on the bike to get stronger, fitter and faster. Accordingly, I’m setting myself the additional challenge of notching up 120,000 vertical metres for the year. I’m currently sitting on a touch over 69,000m meaning I’ll need to average 2,550m a week.

Beach Road rides just aren’t going to cut it!

Speaking of Beach Road, I’ve got a couple of long challenge rides coming up that will help notch up some kays, but also improve my fitness. There’s Amy’s Gran Fondo on September 16, the Hobart 10,000 at the end of September, and Bicycle Network’s Around the Bay in a Day on October 21.

Beyond that there’s 3 Peaks 2013. While the event obviously won’t count toward my targets for this year, the training will … particularly if I can find a way to get up to the Alps before the year is out.

I’ve also got a couple of other, minor goals I’d be delighted to achieve before 2012 winds to a close, which you can see in the summary below. These might all be beyond my reach, but I’ll give them a crack and see how I go.

Main goals

  • Ride 10,000km (an average of 223km per week from here on in)
  • Climb 120,000 vertical metres (2,550m/week)

Bonus goals

  • Get on the podium in a D-grade race
  • Go under 21 minutes on the Kinglake climb (current PB: 21 minutes 41 seconds)
  • Go under 18 minutes on the 1 in 20 climb (current PB: 18 minutes 37 seconds)

So,what are you hoping to achieve on the bike for the rest of the year? Are you willing to set yourself a target and stick to it? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.

22 Comments

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  1. Chris / Aug 26 2012

    Hi Matt, you have certainly changed my training regime with weekend trips to the Nong’s now, I have set myself a goal to attempt and complete “3peaks” in March and as part of that to complete “7peaks” from Oct onwards. I would like to be more consistant in weekday rides but at the moment work is just to damn demanding time wise, I intend to have a crack at “Cyclinginforms” 3peaks indoor training to help pick up my fitness…as you yourself and plenty of replies have mentioned “Having goals makes getting out there and training easier”

  2. another Brendan / Aug 22 2012

    Great to have some goals for the year, I really should follow your example and put them somewhere I can see them. I reckon you’re already too strong for D at Sandown or Glenvale. I’m just off 20mins up the 1in20 and I got bumped up. You’ll be rolling around pretty easily in C Grade as long as you do a little bit of short and sharp stuff. Loving the site at the moment, heaps of good stuff going on in and around Melbourne, just with I could get weekends off work.

    • Matt / Aug 22 2012

      Thanks for this Brendan. I’m definitely keen to give crit racing a go this spring/summer. I’ll definitely start of in D-grade to see where I’m at and if I do well then we’ll go from there I guess! Any truth to the suggestion that D-grade at St. Kilda is noticeably harder than D-grade elsewhere? Any idea how the Hawthorn crits compare?

      • another Brendan / Aug 23 2012

        Haven’t done StKilda or Hawthorn, just CCCC stuff. Guess how hard it is depends who shows up, there’s some fairly negative racing in D grade at times with a few diesels who don’t even go for sprints and kids sitting in waiting for a sprint who yell out whenever someone attacks. Windy days sort it out a bit more.

      • Goonie / Aug 28 2012

        It’s really hard to win in any grade at St. Kilda. The combination of a non-selective course and big fields with strong sprinters (even in D grade) makes getting in the money really hard unless you pack a massive sprint.

        The standard at Hawthorn is a bit weaker and the course is a lot tougher. If you’re strong breakaways can stick on that course; if not the sprint is uphill and quite long.

  3. Nick Orloff / Aug 18 2012

    After an enforced 6 months off the bike in the 2nd half of 2011 (it hurts when a car hits you!) my goal at the start of the year was to crack 15,000Km for the 12 months, but work, family, life, and all sorts of non-cycling distractions have seen me average a touch over 1,000/month (I don’t count my 200/month of flat bar bike commuting towards the total).

    Unless I can get my distance up to 1,250 or more each month between now and the end of the year, it looks like ending up somewhere between 12,000 and 13,000 by Dec 31 (which isn’t failing, it’s just less than I wanted).

    As far as specific rides & events between now and the end of 2012 …. Ride the GORC, the Great Alfred Bike Ride (I get to raise money for a great cause AND ride with Phil Anderson!), the Great Vic Bike Ride with my 13 & 15 year old sons, and get NEAR the podium in a D grade crit (I don’t need to get on it, I just want to be in the bunch sprint not somewhere off the back).

  4. BC / Aug 16 2012

    Doesn’t Around the Bay in a Day come in under junk miles?

    • Matt / Aug 16 2012

      Maybe … I guess I’ll just have to do a bunch of climbing to make up for it. 😉

  5. Murray Campbell / Aug 16 2012

    Hi Matt,

    Awesome write-up as per usual! Yeh I’ve found setting goals to be mostly useful but can put a bit of pressure on when getting sooo close!

    Last year my aim was 10,000kms and around this time I was thinking I was going to fail. But a good friend of mine convinced me to keep on going and just made it (with only a day or 2 left in the year).

    In 2013 my aim is 15,000kms, but due to various circumstances I will easily achieve 12,000kms but going to struggle to hit 15,000kms – will need 350km/wk from now until end of year! Thinking maybe to aim for 15k in 2014…

  6. chris / Aug 16 2012

    Nice goals Matt…while not cycling
    specific for me, I’m looking at doing a half ironman triathlon at some point next year, so lots of training for that…also booked in the cup weekend in bright so I’m super pumped to conquer hotham

  7. eatmorelard / Aug 15 2012

    Why didn’t I know about Hobart 10 000? Sounds awesome but too late to organise my life for it now. Still, I should crack the 100k metres for the year next week!

    Good luck with your goals. Tour of Bright?

  8. Albert / Aug 15 2012

    Good luck with your goals!

    I set myself the modest goal of 6,000km back in January.

    I know it’s not a lot in the scheme of things, but given I ride only on weekdays (before dawn and after work), I figured it was an optimistic but achievable goal.

    I like to think its testament to the fact that you can still ride 150km per week (I’m currently riding 200km per week due to a longer commute) while keeping the whole weekend free for family.

    Of course, I do miss riding in daylight!

  9. Marc Durdin / Aug 15 2012

    Fantastic :-) My goals are currently to ride a few days every week. Not the best training for the Hobart 10,000 but such is life! Looking forward to meeting you at the end of September!

  10. David / Aug 15 2012

    Love that you have put out on the record what you want to achieve. I think you have forgotten to add the exploring new places (not just the high point of a road, things like lookout towers, lakes, rivers, rail trails, beachside or major industry like wind farms) and taking people along for the ride or sometimes going out solo to get away from it all.

    I am looking forward to being along for part of your journeying and I know all of us out here in internet land are looking forward to reading about it.

    My goals are to keep up the fitness, to do as many challenges as time will allow me, to have fun, to keep myself doing the crazy occasionally, to bring a few people along for the ride every now and again, to enjoy the lunch or coffee and to talk about the great riding and to keep campaigning for greater safety for riders through the provision of infrastructure such as off-road paths or better bike lanes.

  11. Cyril / Aug 15 2012

    Nice work Matt enjoy reading your blogs, why the racing doesn’t match the rest of your riding/ training?

    Main Goals: Amy’s Gran Fondo, 7 peaks plus in 2013 first time (3 peaks & Alpine Classic). Road my first mountain (Lake Mountain) this June now for the rest.

    Bonus Goals: Stop doing Strava challenges, while it is nice base training kills the legs and is too much quantity and not enough quality! legs have only just recovered from the ‘rapha rising challenge’ as I near the end of the Bicycle Aust Every Second Counts challenge. No more!

    Ride the 7 peaks about the same time that you have climbed them.

    • Cyril / Aug 23 2012

      revised goals following dooring – rehab for 10 weeks, then start riding again. certainly stopped strava challenges! Climb some peaks before end of year.

  12. Darren / Aug 15 2012

    Hi Matt, Great they you have set these goals.I also ride for mainly pleasure and I was aiming for 10,000 kms also until recently 27 th of July I had 6547 kms up and was well on target. Long story I will keep it short, I thought my garmin HRM was playing up so I put a new battery in it went out for a mountain bike ride with a few mates around the trails in Bright and it played up again. Got my wife to try it out worked fine. then I thought to myself this may not be a slight head cold I had making it difficult to breath while going up these hills, went to the doctors told them my problems I had over the last few days in which I was sent to Melbourne for stress test EKG to find out I have second degree heart block which requires a pace maker in the next week or two. I rode to Mt Beauty over Tawonga gap only two days earlier and all was fine. I have around the bay also ( 210 kms ) planned fro the 21 st of October and my goal is to do some off the ride and maybe the whole ride if my body is able. So it is great to set some plans for yourself because you never know what is around the corner. Sometimes there are slight hiccups in life but keep positive and still try to reach your goals. I will keep a lookout for your up coming posts until then keep pedaling .

  13. Andrew Humphris / Aug 15 2012

    Hi there,

    Big congrats firstly on your blog. Love reading it and how it is kept clean and simple and interesting.

    My goal like yours at the start of the year was 10000km however bad weather, bad habits and bad motivation has me at just 3300 with just 4 months left.

    I am heading overseas for a few months in Sept and I plan to spend a couple of weeks in the Pyrenees. I have a goal to do the Tourmalet from both sides plus a few other cols over there as well.

    Before I go I need to get at least 150 a week on the clock and do at least one hill session. I also need to get under 17 mins for Arthur’s Seat (did 17.56 on Sun) I am also planning to do the 1/20 at least once and Erskine falls in Lorne twice before I go.

    It would be great to get under 100kgs before I go too!

    Keep up the blog.

    Andrew

  14. GrahamP / Aug 15 2012

    Set myself at the start of the year the goals of 200k and 2000m climbing per week, get under 2omins on the 1/20 (19.50 a couple of weeks ago) gran fondo. ATB and Alpine Classic. Averaging about 180k/ week thanks to the crap weather but climbing has been on track. Having the goals gives me a focus.

  15. norm / Aug 15 2012

    Training is always much easier when you have goals. My goal is to finish a race, any race, without cramping! Then, like you, to make the podium in D-Grade.

  16. GlennR / Aug 15 2012

    Good to hear goals other than just kms. Beach road is a great training tool but a beach road century can be a walk in the park and a Nongs/alpine century can break even the best riders.

    And you’ve inspired me to get back to Kinglake after riding the Nongs lately. A Kinglake/Humevale double is on the ads this weekend.

  17. Josh / Aug 15 2012

    Thanks, Matt, it’s a great time to be thinking about goals, with winter drawing to a close.

    Have you thought about adding the Alpine Classic? Audax throws a great event, they create a festive sense of occasion, and I don’t think you’ve written it up (although you do have guest posts about it). Not quite a 2012 goal but being in Jan 2013 it’s certainly part of the Q3/Q4 planning. With that weekly volume, you’ll be fine, of course :)

    My goal for this year is to complete the Tour of Bright, C grade, with a GC time under 6h30. Everything else is subordinate to that. First of course I have to place in the sprint to register.

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