Lessons on Race Targeting, Goal Setting, and Mindset, with Olympians Svein Tuft and Erinne Zarsadias (nee Willock)

Is it better to focus on one big race a year, or have several targets? Is performance or process more important when it comes to goal setting? Two Olympians help us tackle these complex questions.

Svein Tuft
Svein Tuft races in the Canadian national time trial champion skinsuit at the 2009 Eneco Tour.

When you watch the Olympics, do you think about the dedication, sacrifice, and risk that it takes to focus on such a big event, one that takes four years to prepare for? The pressure is immense. Is it worth it?

When we invited Olympians Svein Tuft and Errine Zarsadias (you may remember her as Erinne Willock from her racing days) to join us on Fast Talk, we intended to discuss whether it was wise to focus on a single big race—for example, that Olympic Games or world championship race, or, for the amateurs among us, the state championships or that one big race you always wanted to win. What are the benefits of such focus? What are the dangers?

While we did broach that subject, we ultimately ended up discussing so much more, from goal setting to purposeful training.

Svein, an 11-time Canadian national time trial champion and two-time road champion, and Errine, a Pan Am Games silver medalist, each share their personal experiences with the Olympics and worlds, the things they would change and the things they’d do the same, in hindsight. They discuss the dangers of putting all their eggs in one basket—the dangers of placing too much emphasis on a single day or course.

They also discuss how having a purpose and other goals based on enjoyment are perhaps the most rewarding and, ultimately, most performance-benefitting mindsets you can take.

In addition to Svein and Errine, we hear from prominent sports psychologist Julie Emmerman and elite coach Kendra Wenzel who each share their perspective on the best way to target races.

Let’s make you fast!

Episode Transcript

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