Indoor Sport Services Training Guide
Our Indoor Rowing Training Guide is the ultimate training resource for the Indoor Rower. Written by top education and coaching specialists, it includes information on technique and training, with programmes on cross-training, 2,000m and marathon race training, weight management and keep fit. There are guest chapters written by top names such as Jurgen Grobler and Chris Shambrook as well as dedicated sections on psychology, nutrition and weight training.
Sports Psychology - Setting Targets and Goals - The Basic Tips<< Why Bother With Psychological Training?Concept 2 Profile >>
Goals and targets are essential for getting motivated and keeping motivated. Without targets, there is nothing to aim for specifically, and little chance of you maintaining training over a prolonged period. The more meaningful you can make your goals to you, then the more they will keep you striving to achieve those things that are really important to you. You have already taken the step of exercising on the Indoor Rower, or perhaps even purchasing one, so there must be some pretty important goals that you want to achieve. At the start of your training, it is well worth spending a small amount of time getting these goals into sharp focus so that you can maximise their impact for you, short-term, medium-term and long-term.
Whether your goal is to control weight, improve general fitness levels, or be able to break eight, seven or even six minutes for a 2,000m row, there are some basic rules that you need to follow. First, you need to start the goal-setting process with the finish point in mind. This makes it a lot easier for you to take the appropriate steps to set effective goals along the way. Try to make this end goal as specific as possible. For example, a goal of losing weight is pretty non-specific. How much weight? By when? And how? Your goal will be much more helpful if you give yourself detailed aims, such as: "By three months from today, I aim to have lost 5kg. I will do this by rowing four times a week and by working on improving my diet."
When we have a specific goal like this, you can then begin to calculate what you need to do on a day-to-day basis in order to achieve your long-term success. Therefore, if you want to achieve the 5kg weight loss in three months, this actually means that you will be aiming to lose 1.6kg per month, which in turn means you are trying to lose 0.4kg per week, or 0.06 kg per day! And what does 60 grams feel like? Well, if you have an average apple available, pick this up, and 60g is about half the weight of this apple! So, from a large goal of 5kg, that might seem quite daunting, you might hopefully be able to be more optimistic that you can little by little make the 60g daily progress that would add up to your desired total.
Think of the ultimate goal as the top of a staircase, and in order to successfully reach the top of your stairs, you need to take each step with maximum efficiency, allowing you to tackle each step with equal enthusiasm. So, apply the staircase principle to any goal you set. See what is at the top, and then break the ultimate aim down into manageable daily or weekly chunks. If you adhere to the following rules along the way, you will be sure to get maximum satisfaction out of your goals:
- Make sure your goals are realistic, but challenging. Getting the balance right here is essential. Too easy, and the goals will not motivate or create a sense of urgency. Too hard, and the goals will de- motivate as you will not get any positive feedback that you are getting close to achieving your ideal outcome. Therefore, keep asking yourself, does this goal challenge me, and do I believe it is realistic?
- Progress towards goals is never smooth - sometimes you make quicker progress than expected, other times you are hindered in your efforts. Therefore, make sure that you allow the time frames and the goals to be adjustable. Allowing flexibility is critical as goal setting is often like an experiment, and as we know with most experiments, the scientists seldom get the method perfect first time round.
- As much as possible, make sure you measure your progress. In the weight loss example, there is a good objective progress check in terms of actual weight measurement. Use times, distances, frequency of training, or your performance rating scales to keep you focused on measuring your successes. If you can see the end goal getting closer, then the more motivated you will be.
- Review, review, review! Check your progress along the way. Don't set long term goals and only review progress once you get to the end point. Keep reviewing progress regularly so that you can learn what is working for you and what is not. The world's best sports performers get their goals really working for them through the way that they review and learn, so take a tip from the best, and review as well as you set goals. Later in this section, there is an example of a race review system, and you might want to work out how this might be adapted to help you review your goals effectively along the way, even if you have no intention of racing.
There is a lot more detail on the kind of goal setting you can go through in The Mental Game Plan. One area that may help you though is to think about working out in more detail what your starting point is as an individual beginning a programme of training. The Concept 2 Profile (see below) is a great way to get some more specific targets for your training that are personalised to your particular needs.
The profile is relatively easy to fill in. Under the training focus, complete a list of all of those specific areas that you might want to work on. For instance, you might identify that you want to work on: stamina, muscle tone, weight control, back strength, enjoyment, concentration and motivation. If this was your list, you would then need to score yourself out of ten on each item for how good you believe yourself to be right now on each quality. Once you have identified the scoring range, look at the lowest scores, and start to put in place a plan for the next few weeks of what you will do to improve the scores of those specific areas. This process is much more subjective than using the goal highlighted before, but it can be equally helpful as it really gets you in touch with the areas to work on that are most important for you. This process allows you to tell yourself what is important to you... and from a motivation point of view that is much better than someone telling you what to do and how to do it.
Once you've completed the profile you should have a clear picture of what you want to improve, what score you want to improve it to, how you will improve it (while keeping other areas at least at the same level), and when you will review your progress to score yourself on each other areas again.
The time spent on this planning stage will have a big impact on the quality with which you are going to carry out your training. So take out your insurance policy and spend a bit of time thinking about what you need to think about!