Week 1

Goal setting

So you’ve signed up for United Energy Around the Bay. Now what?

To get to this point you may have:

  • Agreed to join a friend or two because it sounded awesome
  • Been promising yourself to do United Energy Around the Bay as a bucket list ‘must do’ event
  • Needed a challenge to keep you motivated
  • Are returning this year to go bigger or faster or just do things a little better this time
  • Or just signed up, as you do…and need some advice on how!

Whatever your initial reason for putting your name on the dotted line, no matter what distance you have chosen, with 12 weeks to go,  it pays to spend a bit of time mapping out a plan that propels you towards what you want to get out of the event.

This does not need to be comprehensive or propel you towards ‘pro’ status. Just a simple plan to keep you moving towards your goal.

Make a plan

Step 1 - What have you committed to?

What is it that you have said you will do?

Literally: eg“I have signed up to do the 210 km Sorrento return ATB event”

What does this vision look like for you?

  1. Cruising down with thousands of other riders chatting about life, leisurely lunch before meandering your way back?
  2. Pacing it hard with a good bunch holding 30+kmph only stopping for water refill and quick snacks, eating on the go, finishing as fast as you can?

Or something in between these 2.

Once you work out WHAT your event looks and feels like for you then you can start to work out the rest.

Step 2 - Know your WHY!

Life is so much easier when we have good reason to do the hard work.

Ask yourself a few hard questions:
  • Why have I signed up?
  • What do I hope to get out of this?
  • What does it mean to me to follow through and achieve what I said I would?
The answers could be as simple as:
  • To prove to myself I can do a challenge that is tough.
  • To improve on last years time or distance.
  • To support a friend

…and the list is endless.

Step 3 - How invested are you? What price are you willing to pay?

To reach this goal it is a good idea to work out what your investment is. The price you are willing to pay so to speak.

For example:
  • Train two times a week on the bike
  • Include some core and gym work
  • Get to bed early
  • Improve eating habits
  • Get up early for training
  • Or literally “spend” money on some new equipment, a gym membership etc…

This is your currency to hand over to get the results which will be reward for investment.

Have you ever complained about “having to get up early to train”?

No one makes you do this, this is your decision! So when times get tough you can remind yourself – “I promised myself this, I said I would do this, it’s my goal, my why, my investment so if I need to reshuffle my investment then its up to me.”

Step 4 - Who do you need to make this happen?

Most of us have to seek support from somewhere to make a big goal a reality.

Gathering support is key

Negotiating your ride time with family, partners and work is also a good idea. When you involve others in your goal setting it not only allows your support network to feel invested it also keeps you accountable knowing that they know what you said you would do.

With 12 weeks to go you need not drop everything and turn every week into a Tour de France training regime.

Happy family, happy work-life, happy friends and a happy support network makes for a happy cyclist, who feels supported from day one to the finish line. Who knows you may even inspire others to join you on your journey!

Step 5 - What ‘tools’ do you need?

This is a bike ride, at any distance you have signed up for its important to have a few basic tools.

  • Bike and helmet must be first priority. But maybe you need a few upgrades or accessories to improve your experience?
  • Time – another essential that only you can work out what time you can give up to train for this.
  • Do you need a coach or a training group or a bunch ride or a few training rides to keep you in check?
  • Finances – how much do you wish to spend on this goal? For some it’s zero, for others they are keen to get new wheels, a coach, a gym membership etc…I know personally I have overinvested realising I didn’t need to spend so much.

SMART goal setting


It helps if your goal is specific. E.g. Ride the 210 Anti Clockwise in 11 hrs & remain in a bunch at all times. I will snack on my food on the bike every 30 mins and drink every 10 mins as well as eat my lunch on the ferry. When I finish in 11 hrs I will be proud of my efforts and I will celebrate with a night out with my family.


Working out how to measure your goal can be a challenge but it can be as simple as: 

  • Finishing with no regrets.
  • Having reached all your hydration and nutrition requirements.
  • Finishing with the bunch you started with.
  • Reaching your goal time and goal pace.

Creating your how pathway to achieve this goal requires the most amount of time and thought. Bike? Tick. Time? Tick. Training plan? Tick. Works in with your life? Tick. This is the simple overview that we will spend a bit more time on.


Having a plan allows you to keep relevant and realistic with the grand goal. Adding in core work or some specific strength or yoga is relevant. Maybe choosing a running marathon in the middle of a 12 week block does not align so well


Setting time based mini goals is really fun and allows you to have measurable success towards the end tick box. E.g:

  1. In the month of July I will achieve 1000 km ridden.
  2. By the end of August I will have done 2 x 150 km rides.
  3. By September 10th I will have done 1 x 200 km ride.
  4. By the start of October I will have achieved “X” amount of training kms

This will allow you to feel confident in achieving your chosen event goals. 

Before you get started…

At this point of analysis we can all get a bit to focused on planning and less time doing. I have a bit of a saying I like to use when I see this popping up.

“Better done than perfect”

And this is another good one too…its an ancient Chinese proverb.

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is now”

It’s time for a pedal

So…before settling in to the big goal setting exercise, go for a ride. Just head out, or indoors if its raining and let the thoughts enter your mind about this goal of yours.

How does it make you feel? Excited? Scared? Apprehensive? Nervous? Butterflies in your stomach? Start to dream big and imagine the best result and allow yourself to be at the top of your game, the cyclist you know that you can realistically be.

I always like to remind people – “You have already invested time and effort and emotion in working out the worst case scenario, the one filled with fear and what if’s, so now you know what’s going to happen there, why not invest in the best case scenario and the one where it all goes right for you. Invest in that and start to map out the pathway to that!”

When you return – do not delay whilst all those feel good hormones are lifting you up – Download the PDF goal setting sheet, watch the 2 min video and dream big!


Goal Setting worksheet
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Goal Setting checklist
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