I find it very important to set goals during the off season in order to stay motivated. Sure many of us have goals of going bigger/better/faster next season, but the first race of the year is still 8 month away. Surely there is nothing that can push us consistently for that long without any little test along the way to keep our training honest.
This was the main principle behind the UBCTC Fall Classic Race Series, I wanted a way to motivate the athletes during the downtime of the season in a casual enough way to prevent burning out come Christmas time. I have seen and experienced first hand too many occasions where in September and October athletes are far too motivated for a race far off in the future that they lose all motivation without gratification of a reward from their training. What happens is training diminishes and eventually when March comes along athletes are caught off guard and they haven't maintained their base.
To fix this, creating mini training goals (which obviously still compliment the major racing goals) allow more interesting ways of incorporating micro terms in your training, with a healthy downtime after each 4-6 week build session.
For this reason I have decided that my main focus in the UBCTC Fall Classic will be the mile run. I find that I do a lot of long runs that don't help me build speed which is where I suffer in races. With that in mind, I want everyone to chose one or two events in the Fall Classic and really put their efforts forward to accomplishing that one goal. Either share in the comment section your goal, or simply keep it to yourself. But setting quantifiable, achievable (with effort) goals which can keep you in check is a fundamental rule to ensure improvement.
Good luck everyone.
With that, my quantifiable goal is to run the mile with an a time of 4:30. Is this possible? Maybe, maybe not, but either way it will take a lot of hard interval sessions that I normally wouldn't do and gives me a goal to train towards over the next few weeks before taking a short break and preparing for my next goal.