Setting Running Goals

The month of May has been a tricky one.

I graduated at the beginning of the month and with more time on my hands (read: poor and jobless) I decided to increase my mileage, since I had been doing random 5-mile runs a few times a week over the past 4 months.

A couple of weeks ago, I began my training too intensely and ran myself into a small but frustrating injury in my foot.  I (reluctantly) decided it was best to take a week off before running again.

In hindsight, I realize I set my goals too high too soon.  I tend to get overly excited about my training and run my hard workouts too close together in hopes to reach my goals quickly.  During my short break, I re-evaluated my goals so I can get the most out of my training while keeping my body healthy as well.  Killing two birds with one stone is also a good way to say it.

Here are a few guidelines to help you kill two birds with one stone when setting your running goals:

  1. Set short term, medium length, and long term goals.  Short term goals are less than six months, medium length goals are one year, and long term goals are over one year.
  2. Make sure your goals suit your lifestyle.  If you don’t have time to log 50 miles per week than don’t make that a goal.  Duh…
  3. Don’t squeeze your workouts together thinking you will reach your running goals faster – this only leads to injuries. (My mistake!)
  4. Set ideal realistic goals.  Okay, you don’t want your goals to be too “idealistic” because that may lead to disappointment, but you don’t want to set goals that are too easy.  Hence, “ideal realistic,” they are reachable goals that cause you to push yourself!

(It’s best to avoid standing directly between a competitive jerk and his goals.)

Here are my goals:

Short Term Goals:  1. Break 22 minutes my next scheduled 5k race
2. Break 6:30 in the one mile race (against my friends)
3. Incorporate more strength training into my routine
4. Gradually, increase my weekly mileage

Medium Term Goals:  PR my next scheduled half marathon (under 1:47:22)

Long Term Goals:  Run a marathon

Today’s Run:
3  miles in 25 minutes
2 x 15 calf raises
40 walking lunges
30 squats
100 crunches
20 “supermans”
20 pushups

Reader Question:  What are your running goals?

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