THE CASE FOR SETTING GOALS
For the past few years, I've analyzed my cycling data and compiled an annual report. While I did the annual report for fun, I ended up learning a lot through the process. For example, my monthly mileage dropped precipitously in the fall. Knowing this, I worked on ensuring I got out on longer rides in the fall and became more comfortable riding in the rain, to the point that I really enjoy it now.
At the end of 2014, I decided to use my past data to set a 2015 riding goal. The most miles I had ridden since I started tracking my data thoroughly was 3,272 miles in 2013. I settled on 3,600 miles for 2015. I had ridden 300+ miles/month five times in 2014 so I felt riding 3,600 miles was both a good challenge and an attainable goal. Being me, I also set a stretch goal for myself. In this case I threw out a nice round number - 4,000 miles. It would be a big stretch for me to ride 4,000 miles in a year, but it would also be a huge accomplishment.
I've been keeping tabs on my progress and I'm happy to report as of 05 December, 2015, I exceeded my goal AND my stretch goal for the year. This morning's ride of 50.1 miles put me over the 4,000 mile mark (4,004.4 miles to be exact). With nearly a full month ahead and Rapha's Festive 500 challenge (ride 500km in 8 days, which I'm super motivated to try and complete for the first time), who knows where my final tally will end up. Here's to having goals!
Check out my live progress below (you can hover each month on the line for a year over year comparison). As you can see, the beginning of 2015 started off fairly normal and consistent, but a strong May-July stretch helped accelerate my progress and consistent miles in the fall helped me reach my stretch goal.
Here's another view showing a year-over-year comparison for each month. To date, in all but March and September, I've managed to set new all time bests for miles ridden in a given month.