Mission: 2020

Hard to believe, but 2020 is almost upon us. As we enter the new year, use the momentum you maintained in the off-season to launch into a terrific next season. :) Here's a brief checklist of ideas and things to have done sooner than later.

1. Tune up your bike. You may not need to have it overhauled, but if your main bike has been hanging on the wall for a couple months like mine, it would be good to inspect the tires, lube the chain, and maybe even clean the frame.

2. Figure out your group routine. I'm a primarily social trainer at this point in life, so my training revolves around the groups I can join. Your groups may have updated their schedules, so plan accordingly. If you train mostly solo, you can ignore this and just figure out your schedule.

3. Dial in the nutrition. The holidays are tough for even the strictest of healthy eaters, so when you return home, return to your normal healthy habits. Cut back a little if you packed on some extra padding over the holidays. 1-2 pounds a month is typically the safe and healthy way to shed extra weight.

4. Figure out your race schedule. Many of you have already done this, but if you're still hemming and hawing, it's time to focus and finalize. Just pick one.

5. Finalize your goals. Even those of you who aren't feeling super competitive or motivated can pick some concrete numbers you'd like to see, based on the amount of work you are liable to put in.

6. Gear up. Don't let a lack of adequate cold weather gear (or whatever else) become your excuse for delaying training. For the bike, a one-time investment in cold weather equipment yields multiple seasons of no reason to not go outside.

7. Don't overthink things. Ease into the training if you've fallen off the wagon. Sign up for a few classes or lessons. Just get going!

See you in 2020,

Marty Gaal, CSCS, is a USA Triathlon coach who lives in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Marty has been coaching endurance athletes since 2002. You can read more about OSB coaching services at www.osbmultisport.com.

One Step Beyond is the producer of the Powerstroke®: Speed through force and form freestyle technique DVD, intended to help new to intermediate triathlon swimmers become faster and more powerful in the water.