I’ve read so many posts from people I follow talking about their goals – whether it’s a sub-something distance, a particular event or distance or some dream challenge – it is amazing to see and its inspiring watching people commit to something they are passionate about. However, it does often leave me questioning where my own goals are – what am I actually trying to achieve beyond raising money for Charity?

Since picking up a bike in March 2017 this journey has seen me take on a mixed bag of events and challenges – all things I’d longed to do, things that I found interesting and lots of DIY challenges based on how far I could push my body. It’s been great, I’ve learnt a lot about myself and what I really like doing.

Cycling 140 miles from London to Brighton (and back home) was my first cycling challenge in April 2017

However, I’ve come to the realisation over recent months that I can’t do and be everything – fundraising, designing my own challenges, endurance running and cycling, my children and life in general – fitting it all in is hard, its a lot of work and a lot of pressure (physically, mentally and financially). As someone recently said, no one is forcing me to do this – I’ve done it all because I wanted this journey to mean something, so that it wasn’t simply a selfish pursuit. I wanted to change myself for the better, but to help change the world while I did it.

The build up to the Run the Peaks challenge proved to me that I’m putting to much pressure on myself – I was burnt out and my training and my health suffered. We have to evolve to survive and so must this journey evolve too.

This blog and my linked social media accounts have in part been about sharing that journey and making myself accountable for doing, not just saying. So, here is me committing to the long term – to the athlete I want to be.

Setting long term goals

Deciding where I want to go, who I want to be and the experiences I want to have, has been key to this process and the long term direction of my journey. Listed below at my ‘A’ events the aim of which is to build and increase my endurance towards to key goal events – RAAM and Paris-Brest-Paris.

So, commitment done – but that’s the easy part right!?

In reality, its taken me two years to come up with this focus, to be able to say “this is what I want to achieve“. The key to turning this in to a reality is following through with the plan and being committed and consistent to training and growth. That’s where my Coach, Pav Bryan of Spokes, comes in. Between us we have to work out how to juggle the demands of a full time job, family, friends and life admin and make sure the hard work gets done.

Pav Bryan, Performance Director at Spokes (and author, cyclist and all round great guy)

For me, what we’ve created is a plan that builds over the 5 years, is realistic and achievable and yet remains, well BIG. It’s an exciting new direction for me and with Pav’s guidance and support I know we’ll deliver it.

Sacrifices

Reading the goals below and thinking about the challenges I’ve taken on to date, you’d be forgiven for asking “Where’s all the running events?

While I want to focus on cycling, running is still very important to me – it’s where this all started. It’s something I love doing and something that has helped me to better manage my mental health. So I’ll be focusing on doing it for those reasons alone – for the love, without the stress and pressure of training for specific events or times.  For the social runs, the Parkruns, for the love of exploring, but also to support others in their own journey. More on this in a later blog!

So, I’m not sacrificing running, I’m just removing the pressure I create for myself around it.

Running will be focused on fun – making sure I’m smiling while I’m doing it

The goals

Thanks for bearing with me…now to the dream, the commitment and the plan;

2019

  • Join Audax UK – have fun, meet new people and complete as many events as able at a range of distances
    • 7 December – The South of Bucks Winter Warmer Audax – 208km

2020

  • Complete TransEngland, as a minimum
    • 3-4 April 2020 – TransEngland – 280km
    • 1-2 May 2020 – TransWales – 350km
    • 6-7 June 2020 -TransScotland –  700km
  • Ride the Trafalgar Way
    • September 2020 (Date TBC) – 500km Audax – Brevets de Randonneurs Mondiaux (BRM) event
  • Revolve24, Brands Hatch (Team)
    • September 2020 (Date TBC) – 24hrs over a 3.9km circuit
    • 2, 4, 6 or 8 person teams
  • Red Bull Timelaps
    • October 2020 (Date TBC) – 24hrs over a 6.6km circuit
    • 4 person team
  • Audax events;
    • complete as many events as able at a range of distances (200, 300, 400, 600km) as and when free.

2021

  • London Edinburgh London
    • 8th – 13th August 2021 -1500km self supported ride across the UK, between the two capitals in England and Scotland
    • 125hr time limit
  • Ride Across America (RAAM) – Team
    • June 2021 – 3000 miles from Oceanside, California to Annapolis, Maryland
    • 9 day cut off
    • 2, 4 and 8 person team
    • No qualification required for team entries
  • Revolve24, Brands Hatch (Solo)
    • September 2021 (date TBC) – 24hrs over a 3.9km circuit
    • RAAM Solo Qualifier – requirement is to cycle a minimum of 340 miles, at an average of 10.5 mph.
  • Audax events;
    • complete as many events as able at a range of distances (200, 300, 400, 600km) as and when free.

2022

  • Ride Across America (RAAM) – Solo
    • June 2022 – 3000 miles from Oceanside, California to Annapolis, Maryland
    • 12 day cut off
  • PBP qualifying Audax events
    • Brevets de Randonneurs Mondiaux (200 km to 1000 km) and the Randonneurs Mondiaux 1200 km &+ are qualifying events for Paris-Brest-Paris.
    • This means riding 1 each of a 200km, 300km, 400km and 600km BRM events.

2023

  • Paris-Brest-Paris (PBP) Brevet
    • August 2023 – 1200km from Paris to Brest and back again
    • Maximum of 90hr cut off (dependant on wave)

Share the journey

If you’ve trained for or taken part in any of the events above, get in touch or comment below – I’d love to hear from you and your experience of them.

Otherwise stay tuned, I’ll share more of the journey as I go tagging blogs relevant to the events, to make them easier to find!

Find out more

If you are interested in finding out more the benefits of a cycling coach then get in touch, I’m happy to share my experiences to date.

Whether you’re just starting out, a keen cyclist or triathlete, or even a seasoned pro, Spokes has a team of specialist coaches to meet all your training needs. You can find out more about what they offer and their coaches here

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