Setting out your stall for 2015

At this time of year people often take stock of how their year went, evaluating how they performed in training and races and what can be done better for next year.  For some they will be content, for others they will already be planning 2015 and putting their wrongs right.

For many, December and in particular January is a time for planning, for others its full of New Years resolutions and promises to yourself.  For a lot of people when they plan ahead their training and race calendar for the year they do so with good intentions.  What is often the case when in “planning mode” is people set unrealistic and unsustainable plans.  Yeah sure you might get through the first few weeks or even months full of gusto but the majority of the time people will fall by the wayside and burn out, let down by poor planning and over exuberance.

There are a few factors to take into account when setting out your stall for 2015

Goal setting

Every successful person has set goals which have driven and directed their efforts in their quest to be the best they can be.

  • Goal setting helps to focus attention and it is critical to maintain and enhance motivation.
  • Goal setting gives direction both in the short-term and the long-term, you can see success as you achieve your short and long-term goals.
  • Enhances persistence
  • Encourages the individual to develop strategies for achieving their goals

However goal setting must be implemented correctly,

  • Goals should be realistic, stretching and challenging but achievable with the right approach
  • Goals should be specific
  • Goals should be measurable, that old chestnut “what gets measured gets done”
  • Goals should be split between short and long-term, often people perform and work better when working towards a long-term goal, from losing weight, gaining fitness or improving your 10k time.  Using the short terms goals as stepping-stones to success along the way.


For any training plan or race schedule it needs to be sustainable.  No point in overdoing it in January and putting in too many hours when your long-term goal is 9 or 12 months away.  Life circumstances need to be taken into account also.  Of course someone with a flexible job and no commitments will have more training time available than someone with a busy job, wife and 4 kids at home.  Making sustainable plans needs to factor in not only the training but life circumstances surrounding the athlete.


Often overlooked but should never be forgotten.  When setting out your stall for the year keep your training and races enjoyable.  If you are doing something that is not enjoyable you should look to change it up.  We often spend a long time training, if you are not enjoting it you will soon lose that hunger in your belly.  Linked to the above point on sustainability if it’s not enjoyable, the bike, runners or speedos will be packed away by March not to be seen until next year, do not be that Winter Warrior!


Some people struggle with the planning, scheduling of races and goal setting for the year.  This is where a coach comes into play.  They will look at your short and long-term goals, review your sporting history, identify limiters to achieving your goals and start laying down a road map on how to achieve those goals.  A coach takes the guesswork out of it and takes a view of each individual and their life circumstances, the end result should be a plan which will,

  • Help you identify and achieve your goals
  • Ensure your training is structured and sustainable
  • Ensure there is enough variety in the plan to ensure you enjoy yourself along the way (well apart from those really tough sessions)

If anyone needs some guidance and help with “Setting out their stall for 2015” drop us an email @ and we will be glad to help you.

Why is Strength & Conditioning so important for the aspiring athlete

Many clients ask why is it so important to have S&C built into their training programmes, these 3 simple reasons alone tell us why.

1. Injury prevention
A good S&C programme should address flexibility issues. It should also help with addressing or eliminating any muscle imbalances which could lead to injuries and an athlete being sidelined for weeks or even months. A car chassis is an important part of a car, look after yours!

2. Stronger athletes
Who would have guessed it, stronger you say? It makes logical sense that focussing on S&C in the long term will make you a stronger athlete. It does not replace running, cycling or swimming but adds to it. A well developed S&C programme will target areas of the body that sometimes get overlooked in training. It should make you feel noticeably stronger and help deal with the constant training stress placed on the body.

3. Faster athletes
Increases in strength, flexibility and sport specific demands allow athletes to create more force with each step. Combined with good running mechanics, a S&C program allows athletes to work longer and harder in developing their skills resulting in an increase in acceleration and speed.

You can be sure if you are an Ascent athlete, S&C is an area we do not neglect, we help build a more resilient, stronger and faster athlete.

Ascent Sports Coaching


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