Goal Setting – yours and mine

It’s important to set goals… in work, school, and in running.  But don’t be limited by those goals.  Your run training program should set you up for the best possible performance.

Set a distance goal rather than a time goal.  Your finishing time will be based on your training.  Training should not be based on some arbitrary time goal that does not relate to current fitness levels.  We all know that to race well, we have to do the work.  Have a training plan that includes all the required components: base training, strength work, speed work, and recovery.  Do all the components!   Run your easy workouts easy and run your hard workouts hard.  Your finishing time will be what it is.  Don’t let a guestimated time goal derail you from doing your best.

More experienced athletes have a history and a base line with which to improve upon.  However, the philosophy still applies.  A 2:40 marathoner sets a goal of 2:35 and trains accordingly to the paces required to run 2:35.  (S)he may in fact run a 2:35 for their efforts.  But, was it the best performance of which they were capable?  Was a 2:30 possible and the athlete missed the chance because they didn’t train to their capabilities?
For the mid and back of the packers, this becomes even more important.  Big breakthroughs come when you least expect it.  A 2:40 half marathoner trains to their best capabilities for that season and knocks off a 2:20 or a 2:15 half.

The trick is to use tricks to keep you motivated to do all the training.

  • Pick a distance that you want to work toward.
  • Enter a race.  There is a ton of support that happens in a race from an accurately measured course, to aid stations, to cheering crowds.  Goals don’t have to be accomplished in a race setting but the extra motivation and incentive certainly helps.
  • Tell people about it.  Being accountable really helps keep you on track.
  • Document your journey.  A training log/journal really helps you being accountable to yourself.  Dailymile (http://www.dailymile.com/) is a great log website.  You can track your workouts and also have those workouts posted on your Facebook page.  Accountability and documentation in one entry.

So, in the interest of goal setting, I’ll share my goal for 2013.  This will be the year of the 50!  It looks a little scary when I see it.  The spring will be a 50km trail run which will be a stepping stone towards a 50mile trail run in the fall.  You can follow the progress by looking me up on either dailymile or Facebook.
Care to share your goal?  Leave a comment.

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