Now’s the time to pencil in your main races or rides for 2022. But how will you raise your chances of reaching your goals? Let us delve into the process to show you how
New year, new you. It’s an oft-quoted mantra as the clock ticks around to 1st January. But for Campagnolo users – motivated riders who are inspired by beautiful, cutting-edge equipment and ever-greater challenges – you’re not looking for a new you.
What you’re looking for is an adventure to make you dream, train hard, and maximise your Campagnolo groupset and wheels, whether that’s entering the one-day L’Etape du Tour or completing a magnificent multi-day event like the Haute Route 5-dayer in the Dolomites.
And once you’ve pinpointed your target race(s), it’s all about building the blocks to reach your goals.
Which is where we come in and, more specifically, the three proven ways to succeed.
The first of the three-goal breakdown is the ‘outcome goal’. You should only have one of these as any more and you’re less likely to achieve either.
The outcome goal tends to be based around competition, involving an overall finishing position or a qualification spot. That said, this doesn’t always have to be the case. It could simply involve racing in new places or using cycling as a way of helping others (by raising money for charity, for example).
These outcome goals will often involve other people – your competition – so will be motivating but not that controllable.
The next layer of goal-setting is your ‘performance goals’. Performance goals are the factors that highlight if we’re likely to reach our outcome.
These are much more controllable, much more within your grasp, as they just focus on you and no-one else.
To that end, it might be a personal-best time for The Paris-Roubaix Challenge, a race distance to reach or an ability to ride a certain way (more aerodynamic, for instance).
Our performances feed into the outcomes so if we achieve our performance goals, we’re likely to achieve our outcome goal, too.
Finally, we have our process goals. These are drawn from our performance goals and dictate the behaviours, strategies and tactics we need to enact in training or competition if we’re to make our performance goals happen.
For you, the keen Campagnolo cyclist, this might be riding fasted for 2hrs every two weeks or increasing your longest ride by 5% each week.
Neuroscience has shown us that if we can repeat actions over and over again, they become hardwired and a habit. And when you see how often you’re achieving your process goals, you have lots of reasons to celebrate.
This is key to progress; in fact, studies into successful Olympians have shown that the secret to success is heavily weighted toward those who avoid injury.
In other words, they train consistently. This is for the elites, of course.
For recreational riders, not reaching your goals is less about injury and more about losing motivation to keep going.
So how do you build positive habits that will last beyond January?
Well, firstly it’s all about creating an environment that will help, not hinder, with your riding. This can mean many things but, as a snapshot, here are a few ideas to build your goal-getting environment.
> If you’re planning to ride before work, whether that’s indoors or outdoors, ensure your bike and gear are set up ready for you to go beforehand.
This could mean, for instance, setting up your indoor smart trainer with your clothing and nutrition laid out the night before so that on awakening, all you need to do is slip into your Campagnolo apparel and pedal away (after an espresso, of course).
> Try cognitive priming. Essentially, this is about giving yourself a reward once you have hit your goal mile stones such as your weekly training plan or completing that race you signed up to.
These rewards can come in all shapes and sizes, like purchasing next-level Campagnolo groupset and/or wheel boosts - these mini rewards will boost motivation to perform an action.
Rewarding yourself with the use of this world-class equipment will send your motivation levels through the roof to ensure you ride not relax. Watching inspirational videos also helps.
Have a look at Campagnolo-using Tadej Pogacar’s race-destroying climb clips for evidence.
> Ride with friends. Neuroscience shows that our brains revel in social support whether that’s a gentle pat on the back or verbal praise.
Riding in a group also cranks up motivation because it reduces perception of effort. Your mind’s distracted from digging deep by talking and working with others.
So, when you can, ride with others.
The secret to reaching your individual cycling goals could very well lie in the strength of the team.
Right, now it’s over to you
Dream big, train hard, ride Campag and reach your goals.