#4: Set a Goal
The tendency is to think that you just want to “get in shape.” But in order to really make progress, there has to be some point to what you are doing—some concrete place and time you are working towards; otherwise, your training will inevitably turn stale and you will struggle to find the motivation to continue.
In my case the goal was clear: Don’t puke on those massive hills out West. Over time, my buddies and I plotted out the exact ride when were going to attempt, including not just one massive hill but three—each harder than the one that had nearly taken my life. My goal was merely to survive … to make the entire course without bonking.
One of my college roommates, Dave, added a bit of extra motivation by sending along this email to my second college roommate, Brian, once the course had been determined:
Sounds hard but great. Not much of a warmup before Piuma, but I’m happy to do it as long as I know Tom is suffering. That section of Shueren before the summit at Stunt should be very unpleasant for Tom. Also, Tom’s gonna hate those rollers on Mulholland after the brutal, brutal Rock Store climb. Not to mention the fact that nothing in Massachusetts will prepare him for that final, Bataan-like death slog up Latigo during which, for the first time in his life, he will wish he is 5’6″, 130…