Our mission from day one has been to improve the performance of every athlete we meet - that’s why every month this year we are running ONE STEP CLOSER events exclusive to the MyoMaster community, to give you the chance to learn from and train with the best athletes in the UK. All with the aim of taking you ONE STEP CLOSER to your ultimate goal.
Last Sunday we kicked off our first event with double Olympic medalist and Commonwealth Champion triathlete Alex Yee MBE for a masterclass in goal setting. The insight was invaluable and so for everyone who couldn’t attend, we wanted to share with you how an elite athlete sets their goals and what they do to make sure they achieve them.
Set Your Big Goals First
The very first step is knowing exactly what you want to achieve, sounds simple right? The trick though is being precise and understanding the implications of that goal.
For Alex, his goal for 2023 is to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics, specifically securing the one guaranteed place on the team which is achieved by taking a podium finish at the Paris 2024 test event. The other two places in the team are awarded by recommendations from British Triathlon based on race performances throughout the year.
In practical terms, Alex now can focus his attention on one specific race this season held on August 17th in Paris and that will take him a little under 2 hours to complete. Everything he does from now will be to achieve that result. A clearly defined and precise goal.
Break Your Goals Down.
The next step is to start working backwards from your big goal and breaking it down into smaller ones. A great way to do this is start with some established time frames, key dates or areas of your training that need attention, for example..
In order to achieve that podium finish on August 17th I need to:
From there you can break each one of these goals down even further into even smaller chunks that can assessed on monthly or even weekly levels, for example
In order to Run a PB time at a race on May 28th I need to:
From there you can keep breaking your goals down until you get to small daily goals that will build up to you achieving your ultimate goal.
Stay On Track And Perfect Your Processes.
Setting your goals is just the beginning, the real work is staying on track and making sure all the processes you put in place move the needle in the right direction.
For Alex, he builds standardised sessions, like a specific interval running session, into his training block that he repeats regularly to give him and his team a great indication of how he is performing and where he’s tracking against his performance targets. Now, Alex has been doing these sessions for years so he has great data on his improvements but it’s something we can all easily incorporate into our own training plans to ensure we’re staying on track.
Then it’s all about perfecting your processes, from the time you’re eating meals before training to getting the right amount of sleep. Perfecting each one of these processes is a marginal gain but collectively together that can be the difference between achieving your goal or missing it.
It’s Never Too Early To Start.
A few hours after our session on Sunday, Alex flew out to Australia where he’ll be staying for the next 4 weeks with a primary focus on open water swimming. Why? Because in 5 years time at the Los Angeles 2028 Olympics the swim will be in open water, as will the 2032 games in Brisbane.
Unlike a lot of the athletes from warmer climates who regularly swim in the sea as part of their training, Alex doesn’t get that opportunity here in the UK, and swimming with waves and tidal currents is a whole new skill that he’s already recognised he’s behind the curve on.
When it comes to achieving big performance based goals, think big, start now.