NEWSLETTER – January 2023

“white boxers”

top dog events logo

newsletter no 10 – january 2023

happy new year message

hi – we hope this first offering of the year finds you well rested and excited about the coming year ????

we have always intended to make our newsletters of interest to fellow riders rather than just a monthly sales promotion – so when local sports therapist and british cycling l3 road and track riding coach chris booth got in touch over the holidays to see if he could work with us – we checked him out, liked the cut of his jib and have welcomed him onboard

chris booth performance coach logoso please welcome chris and check out his excellent services if you want to ride further and faster, recover and rest better, or just want some top tips and motivation –

chris will be writing a coaches corner on each of our future newsletters and providing free post ride massages at several of our events this season – here is his 1st piece on setting your riding and training goals for 2023

coaches corner – january 2023 – goal setting 

as 2023 is officially upon us and the first wave of people begin to break their resolutions, i thought it would be fitting to compile a few of my thoughts on goal setting. this includes common pitfalls that lead to ineffective goals being set and tips for ensuring your goals have meaning that will drive performance orientated behaviors.

effective goals will provide every day with a focus and a purpose. if you are not getting up every morning with a burning desire to do things, your goals are ineffective. it may be that you are not excited or passionate enough about the goals you have set, or it may be that you don’t have enough mini goals. in either case, it’s time for a rethink.

understanding your personal vision and ambitions is the place to start. picking an exciting vision that you want to commit to is essential. often, this is an event that suits your strengths, or perhaps you have been considering a challenge or have some unfinished business with an event? be sure to target a time or a position to train towards as this provides measurability.

if you can accomplish it already, this isn’t going to be enough to get you out of bed with a purpose and a spring in your step. the great danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low and achieving our mark with very little effort.

sport psychologists and coaches call these visions and ambitions outcome goals, and they are the star (or fairy) on top of your christmas tree. these are highly important as they provide a desired finishing point and a final objective that riders can measure their success against.

however, what really matters is how you intend to get to that finishing point. what is your plan to achieve your outcome goal? in my experience, where most riders go wrong is that they simply select an event, tell a few people about it and then just ‘see what happens’. there is no thought-out plan with mini goals to achieve and focus on along the way.

an effective plan requires three elements: 

1) break down the demands of your outcome goal

  • how long will the event last? what is the total elevation? how fast will you need to go to achieve your target time?

2). evaluate your ‘top trump card’ strengths and weaknesses.

  • if you were a top trump card, what would you rate yourself for climbing, sprinting, ftp, endurance, power to weight, cda (coefficient of aerodynamic draft …. how aero you are on a bike). there are others, see what you can come up with.

3). identify where there are the biggest disparities between points 1 and 2 above. these are the areas to concentrate on the most in your plan

here is an example… 

your outcome goal is the fred whitton, and you want to go under 8 hours. 

top trump scores are as follows:

  • 63 endurance
  • 72 climbing
  • 52 sprinting 
  • 88 cda 
  • 72 power to weight 
  • 84 ftp

sprinting is your biggest area of improvement, but it is not that important at the fred so no need to focus predominantly on this. cda is your biggest strength, it’s quite important in the first half of the fred but as you’re already scoring quite high, spending excess time on this may only lead to small improvements in performance (potentially not the best investment of time).

with over 12,000 ft of elevation during the fred, climbing and power to weight will be very important, your scores are decent but not as good as cda so it would be more effective to invest time, energy, and money into training your climbing and producing more power then trying to get more aero with fancy handlebars. your ftp is a solid score, but your endurance is quite low. as the event is a target of sub-8 hours, your ability over 1 hour is less important. you would benefit from doing a lot of aerobic endurance training at low intensity and less work around your lactate threshold to see biggest performance improvements. 

what next? so, you know what areas you need to train to get the biggest improvements. now it’s time to put in place some stepping stones or as sport psychologists call them, performance goals. these are the baubles on your christmas tree (if you didn’t have any, your tree would just look empty).

providing targets to achieve on route to your main objective allows you to keep track of your trajectory and adjust what you are doing if necessary before it’s too late. performance goals could be power targets to achieve, body weight objectives, route times, strava segments etc. if aligned to your outcome goals, these are highly effective and are fun and motivational to work towards.

finally, a christmas tree wouldn’t be complete without lots of fairy lights. these are the mini goals and performance orientated behaviours (or process goals) that make you excited to get out of bed, giving you purposeful objectives for each day. this could be 10 mins of stretching, foam rollering, core work, dietary targets, water intake targets, sleep targets, hygiene targets, recovery processes, completing 4 training sessions a week… the list goes on. these add up to a lot in terms of overall performance and are a test of discipline.

there will be ups and downs in motivation but if you are committed to achieving your vision you will maintain your discipline and complete your mini goals every day until motivation doesn’t even come into it. that’s when you start to see consistency and serious performance gains. you’ll get more gains from consistency then any fancy piece of kit for your bike.

when these behaviors become part of your daily lifestyle, that’s when you have earned the right to say the phrase you are ‘dedicated to achieving your goals’.

a word of advice – you will notice i only talked about having one outcome goal to achieve in a season. in reality you may have 2 or 3 but no more than this. the biggest threat to achieving your outcome goals is other outcome goals. it’s kind of like spreading too little butter over too much bread. ask yourself, would you rather be content with your performance across four outcome goals or buzzing about your better performance in two with the satisfaction of knowing you did everything you could to achieve it?

not having goals is an excellent recipe for average performance. don’t let 2023 become just another average year and set goals that will make this your best season yet.

chris booth 

cycling coach and sports massage therapist 

cb sports performance 

our goals for the year ahead

blackpool towerour aim this year is – to work less and ride more in between organising the best sportives in the country

we can’t wait to welcome some familiar faces back to our four sportives in lancaster, dates, and details are now on our website –

top dog events 2023 sportives

online entries are open, and spaces are starting to fill up

away from events chris and lynn plan to explore more with several long distance rides in mind – namely 300 + mile hebridean way and great glen loop in may along with a c2c and hadrians wall or reviers loop back asap

join the top dog team

cycling event marshal as we get ready for the busy year, we are keen to recruit some new people into our event day team of helpers – as we currently rely on a brilliant small group of friends and relatives, who have been with us since the start of our journey, but are not always going to be available when we need their help

various roles need filling – start and finish, feed stations en route, marshals around the ride, even running the event car park pre and post ride.  all our event day helpers are covered by our £5 million employers liability insurance cover

people don t have to be cyclists or car drivers to help – we can let you have a free place in that day’s event or a future one of your choice or paid you for time at £10 an hour + fuel used (transferred to your bank account the night of the event)

contact chris @ [email protected] or on 07521 703205 for a chat

have a great month’s riding

top dog events logo

all @ top dog events limited