Eight-step guide to crafting your achievable goal this year, according to a cycling coach

How to come up with a target you can hit - plus some pointers on how to stay on track

Male cyclist riding outdoors
(Image credit: Future)

We’ve acknowledged that 2024 should be the year of achievable cycling goals. It’s about not overstretching yourself or pushing too hard, but aiming for targets you can hit. 

Having a target is incredibly useful as it’s one of the easiest ways to motivate you to get outside - but only if it’s attainable. Cycling coach Scott Maclean acknowledges: “If the goal is unrealistic, you’re not going to be motivated to push for it.” 

To help you on your way this year with your cycling goal-setting, we asked Maclean for his eight must-do steps to creating targets:

Male cyclist riding outdoors

(Image credit: Future)

1. Have a clear purpose: “People don’t achieve what they set out to do unless they have a clear reason for having the objective in the first place.” 

2. Set interim goals: “Every workout should have micro-goals to get a physical and behavioural response. Don’t be afraid to measure your power to weight ratio or V02 max frequently for signs of progress.” 

3. Stick to a routine: “The biggest obstacle is a lack of consistency. You have to have structure.” 

4. Be flexible: “You can’t manage all the variables, such as work stresses, weather and illnesses, so don’t become disheartened if things don’t go to plan.” 

5. Make it visible: “Write your goal on a wall or put a picture up so you can always see it. It’s a proven tactic.” 

6. Share it: “Tell others about your goal. Your partner or friends asking, ‘Hey, how did the workout go?’ can be really empowering for people. That support network can push you further.” 

7. Reward yourself: “After every session, tell yourself well done. Look at the positives, have a smile. It’s good to be self congratulatory sometimes.” 

8. Prepare the next one: “The best exit strategy is always having the next goal in your head before you reach the end of the current objective – and it’s really important. If you don’t, the completion of your goal could feel like an anti-climax.

If you’re looking for some inspiration, have you considered giving one of Cycling Weekly’s four riding challenges a go? Previously it was the CW5000, but this year we have split it into four separate goals - 500, 1,000, 2,5000, and 5,000 miles.

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