Do you have running goals? Setting goals can be a great way to motivate yourself when you start out as a runner. It can also help you to continue to improve your running or to re-focus after an injury or setback. Most importantly, I think that establishing goals for your running can set you up to be successful!
Goals can be set for all different reasons and can come in all shapes and sizes. Running-specific goals can be weekly, monthly or annual and can be set to try to achieve a certain number of miles. Or you can have more general targets like running a certain number of days in a week or getting ready for a race.
Of course, since this is a running blog, I’ll be focusing on running-specific goals.
Some runners are very specific with their goals, while others are less so. Either way, I think that it’s important to set goals so that you are able to motivate yourself to work that little bit harder to keep improving.
There are several different aspects that I recommend you consider when setting running goals.
1// Write Them Down: While you can be public or private with what your goals are, I 100% recommend that you write them down. Writing them down somewhere that you will see them often can help to serve as a reminder of what your targets are. By keeping them visible, you will be more likely to hold yourself accountable when it comes to working towards your objectives.
2// Challenge Yourself: When setting goals, I want them to be difficult in order to challenge myself to improve or make progress but I also want them to be achievable so that I am not setting myself up for failure from the start. So challenge yourself, but be realistic!
3// Be Specific: Since I began taking my running more seriously a few years ago, I have become very specific when setting my goals. In the past, I was always very private with my goals just in case I didn’t achieve them. This would make it easier to hide my embarrassment if I failed to reach my targets.
At the beginning of 2021, I decided to publicly state my goals for the 1st time. Continue my streak of running every day. Average 10km (6.22 miles) a day. Run one week of a half marathon every day. Each of these present a different type of challenge for me either by increasing my mileage or by doing something I haven’t done before.
4// Make Them Your Goals: The thing with personal goals is that they are all relative to the individual. Don’t set your goals to make someone else happy. The goals that I set for myself, which are all progressions on my last few years, might be considered by others to be unrealistic or even too easy depending on who is looking at them. But the beauty of your personal goals is that they are yours and it doesn’t really matter what others think about them!
5// Track Your Progress: At least monthly, I like to assess where I am with my goals and if I am still on track to accomplish them. Doing this also helps to determine if the goals that I set are still realistic or not. If something is keeping you from achieving your goals, there is nothing wrong with updating them. I have my goals set up on the Strava app, which tells me my current progress as well as if I’ve achieved them. Full disclosure, I have always been a numbers guy. I’m almost constantly aware of my progress and what I need to do in order to reach my targets.
No matter what happens in the pursuit of your goals though, the most important thing is that you’re doing your best to improve yourself. Continuously working towards your goals will make you a better runner and most likely lead to success!
So, do you know what your running goals are?