Setting new running goals for the New Year should be easy, right?
But, it’s not that simple.
I’ve found there are two types of runners. Those who play it safe and those who aim for the fences.
It’s okay to play it safe if that’s how you really want to live your life, but I’m guessing you really don’t want to play it safe, do you? I know deep down you really want to take a chance and push your limits.
On the other hand, dreaming big is almost never a bad idea, but you have to be realistic about the timeframe you set for your biggest and most bold running goals. They might take years to achieve.
No matter which type of runner you lean towards being, you need a road map that will lead you to achieving both your short term and long term goals.
But, how do you know if your running goals are realistic or not? Or how to set specific running goals?
I’m going to tell you exactly how! Here are seven steps to take to make sure you set goals that are inspired, challenging and attainable.
Step 1: Look at the data and your running history.
Have your paces consistently dropped over time? Stayed the same? Are you better at racing shorter distances or longer distances? Based on this information, you will likely see a trend regarding what race distances may suit you best.
Step 2: Write down your dream training week.
Imagine you have all the time in the world to train. How will you spend the majority of your time? Will you run for hours on end or head to the track for shorter speed sessions? This step helps you to determine what race distances you likely have the most passion for.
Step 3: What are you willing to do in the upcoming year, that you haven’t done before?
Run higher mileage? Try a new training plan? Train for a new distance in relation to what you’ve always trained for? In order to conquer new challenges this often means getting outside of your comfort zone and trying something new. This step helps to identify if you’re ready to take this step in your training and racing.
Step 4: Based off your answers to the above questions: What race distance do you have the strongest desire to PR at in the upcoming year or what new distance do you want to conquer?
Step 5: Research your ideal race.
Step 6: Chart out a big picture training cycle leading up to the race.
For example, January – February, focus on getting strong and building a base; March – April, focus on building speed and running short distance races; May – June, build up the weekend long run and race a half marathon; July – October, marathon training; November, goal marathon race; December, off season/recovery.
Step 7: Write out three to four specific goals you’d like to accomplish in 2017 and how they fit into your big picture training cycle, along with what it will take to reach each one of them.
Now that you’ve figured out your specific running goals, click here to learn how to write your own training plan.
And if you are struggling to know exactly what goals to set right now, email me to set up a goal setting session and together we’ll figure it out.