Ask the Coach - Long Term Goals

By LifeSport Coach Carolyn Murray!

Dear Coach:

I have been contemplating my long-term goals for triathlon. How can I structure my goals? 

Carolyn’s Answer;

When it comes to a sport like triathlon, success takes time, sometimes many years. It is helpful to assess where you are now. Then work with your coach on setting a long-term pathway. One of the great things about triathlons is that you can start at any age, which means your development age will be unique to you. Once you and your coach identify where you are on the development path then you can set realistic goals both short and long term.

The following are two examples, which give you two scenarios of two completely different people:

Athlete 1:

Female age 40 – was not active as a child, has just discovered sport and has not swam in 20 years. This individual is at the first step of development. Learning the fundamental skills needed to be successful at training.

She will first need to figure out how to put exercise into her life and find a consistent block before planning to compete in a triathlon – a race would be a long-term goal not short term and the distance should be short so she has a positive experience.

Athlete 2;

Male age 25- Played soccer competitively up to now and swam on the provincial team in High School. This individual will likely still have to learn some new skills and how train in three sports but would also expect to progress much faster. He would likely be looking to compete after a short-term. He would want to set more challenging and specific goals such as placing or time based on his competitive background.

Every athlete comes from a different place, so how do we know where to start?

Here are some key areas to build a profile;

·         Age (as we get older it is more challenging to learn a new skill- Patient is needed!)

·         Athletic background (other aerobic activities will help us transition into triathlon)

·         Sport specific background (swimming is the most difficult to learn, having a swim background will help the athlete to progress to a triathlon competition)

·         Commitment (family, friends, work will all have an impact on how many hours you have to train- this is important to know so that realistic goals can be set)

·         Previous injuries (this is critical for a coach to know where to push and when to hold back in order to prevent another injury)

·         Motivation (What do you want to do? If you want to qualify for the Olympics or complete in one event the pathway is very different but both can be rewarding)

Communication with your coach is the most important so they can guide you on the development pathway that is right for you.

Happy Training!

LifeSport coach Carolyn Murray is both an Olympian and NCCP Coach, with over 15 year experience in coaching, she believes in making individualizes programs for each athlete. Carolyn has been appointed head coach of the Para triathlon National team and enjoys coaching athletes of all levels. Contact Carolyn to share your goals, race faster, or master the Ironman distance. Find more great training tips by joining us on;





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