skip navigation
woman stretching in front of open water

5 Keys to Sticking to Your Running Goals

By Cynthia Steele, 04/02/15, 3:00PM EDT

Share

Do this and you won't fail.

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?

  1. 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.
     
  2. 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.
     
  3. 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.
     
  4. 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.
     
  5. 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?!

Related Articles

an empty road surrounded by flowers
Pairs of shoes running
finger pointing to a variety of food
a group of runners getting ready for a race