Happy day to you.
Being a runner, regardless of where you are in your “career”, is totally awesome.
It might not feel awesome all the time,
It comes with struggles, setbacks, and a whole lot of picking yourself up and trying again.
A great way to stay on track through those struggles and setbacks is to set ACHIEVABLE goals.
If you have been following me for a while, you have probably figured out that I am very goal oriented (aka: Type A personality).
In the first post, I talked about how important it is to create goals.
Some people, I realize now, have not been gifted with the innate ability and need to set goals.
This is okay!
I am sure some of you are reading this and thinking, “Okay great… thanks for telling me how important it is, but how do I set achievable goals”?
Having a strategy is key.
A common acronym used when setting goals is SMART.
Let’s go through each letter to see how it applies to setting achievable running goals.
S – Specific
Create a specific goal. Being too general will tempt you to give up if challenges arise.
Bad example: “I want to run a race.”
Good example: “I want to complete a 5k race.”
M – Measurable
It’s hard to tell whether you have achieved your goal unless you can measure the progress. Use specific numbers or benchmarks.
Bad example: “I want to run far without stopping.”
Good example: “I want to run for an hour without stopping.”
A – Attainable
Be realistic with yourself. If you are a beginner to running, start small and work your way up to a larger goal. If you shoot too high, you may end up feeling defeated and discouraged when you find yourself struggling to complete each benchmark.
Bad example: “I want to run in the marathon next month.”
Good example: “I want to run in the San Francisco Marathon on July 30, 2017 so I can properly train.”
R – Relevant
Make sure the goal you set is a goal that matters to you. Is it relevant to your life? If you’re not jazzed about your goal, you will be much less likely to complete it.
Bad example: “I’m going to train for a trail 50k this fall.” (If you really don’t like trail running- which I don’t, by the way.)
Good example: “I’m going to run the 2nd half of San Francisco Half Marathon this year because the course is part of the San Francisco Marathon course that I will train for and run next year.”
T – Time bound
Set a time frame for achieving your goal. If you leave it open ended, you may find that you keep pushing off your progress. It is easy to fall into the mindset of “I’ll start tomorrow” instead of taking your goals seriously and aggressively. Commitment to a deadline is key! Plot out your training plan week by week, and reverse-engineer your plan step-by-step.
Bad example: “I want to run a half marathon someday.”
Good example: “I want to PR at the OC Half Marathon in May (which I do, by the way).”
The most important thing that I must stress is to plan your goals out.
Again, I know, not everyone is a planner.
But, I can promise you that you are more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down and use the suggestions above.
It takes time, but in the end being organized and knowing where you want to go is worth it.
Now, let’s do something different here.
I would like to encourage everyone to set some SMART goals and email them to me.
I would like to put together a post about YOUR goals and what YOU want to achieve this year.
My hope is that we can encourage each other and get some team spirit going around here.