Whether you’re a new runner or an experienced pro, setting running goals is a useful part of your running journey. So let’s say you’ve decided on your running goals for this season. Now what?
How do you make them a reality?
- Be specific.
Set specific, measurable goals — not just vague intentions like “get in better shape” or “improve my pace.” Think about what you want to achieve — whether it is running consistently at a specific pace, completing a new distance or running a particular number of times a week. Then start to work backwards and think about what it would take to get there.
- Write them down.
Writing down your goals is like signing on the dotted line — you’re more likely to feel committed to them than if you just think them. Write them on a piece of paper, stick them on a bulletin board or post them on your refrigerator. Or if you’re as obsessed with your cell phone as I am, keep them on a note on your phone so that you can refer to them and stay inspired no matter where you are.
- Schedule your runs as if they are appointments you cannot miss.
Yes, I have a daily 6 a.m. alarm set for my workout. You can also schedule a recurring appointment for running and exercise time on your calendar. I have fitness and running activities scheduled as recurring appointments in Google calendar, and I also schedule other workouts into a “Training” calendar that’s layered with my other calendars. They’re scheduled appointments. I’m committed to them. I’m more likely to get out the door for a run it if it’s on the calendar.
- Track your progress.
Whether it’s by pen and paper, a high-tech watch with downloadable data or a website where you manually enter your workouts, having a way to log and analyze your progress can motivate you and keep you headed forward.
- Join a group.
Whether it’s joining a running club, attending a fun run held by your local running store or meeting up with a running buddy — there are tons of ways to find others to run with. Having people to motivate you can help you stick to your fitness goals. Can’t join a group in person? Join an online community for running and connect with others to stay inspired and motivated.
What is a running goal you have for this year?
Follow Cynthia as she tries to stick to her running goals at You Signed Up For WHAT?!