Whether you are a beginner or a professional runner setting goals is very important. Goals help to motivate you, they give positive reinforcement for what you do and they help you set a purpose. It’s ok to run without those three benefits of goals but it’s a better experience if you set them. This can also benefit you in your daily life at home and at home with other activities.
I recently got injured on the run and set a goal to recovery while building strength in certain areas. I wasn’t working out in the gym as much as I should have but in order to achieve this goal I set a schedule for gym time and workouts that I could do at home. I also added various strength exercises to my weekly routine. My coaches worked with me to develop a recovery plan that would lead me to a healthy recovery and to achieve my goal. If you are planning to set a goal here are some things to know that can help guide you with goal setting.
Goals can be the intent to try to run a certain pace faster, more mileage, a certain race better, strength, flexibility, recovery, non stop running or having a successful first run. You decide what your goal is and then you work with a professional, a friend or do research to determine the best way to go about succeeding with your goal. Sometimes we set milestones to these goals. These are mini successes that get you closer to the ultimate outcome. These mini successes help to provide positive reinforcement.
If you have a goal it helps to document it and keep track of your progress. Keep track of how you are preparing, training, what you consume and even what you wear to know what helps you get closer and what doesn’t help.
Be conscious of where you are, know your limits and be realistic about what you are planning to do. For example, if you are running at an 11 minute pace mile and your goal is to run a 7 minute pace mile in two weeks that may not be realistic. You will have to plan and set realistic and reachable goals.
Also, make sure you celebrate when you reach your milestones and goals.
Here’s a photo of my happy legs celebrating after reaching a goal!