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Before choosing a goal, it is important to take a little time for introspection. Why are you running? Are you trying to lose weight? Improve your PR? Run farther?
Now that you have a bit of an understanding of why you are running, it is time to set your goals. The first question to ask is what you are trying to achieve? This goal should be a SMART goal (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound.)
Specific: What are you going to do?
Measurable: How will you measure whether or not you have reached your goal?
Achievable: Is it in your power/ability to achieve your goal?
Realistic: Given your lifestyle, time constraints, and other life-factors, will you be able to accomplish this goal?
Time-bound: When will you accomplish your goal?
Your goals should challenge you, but these goals should be something within your reach. Goals serve to provide motivation and push you to progress. They should not be unrealistic to where you feel you cannot accomplish them or they intimidate you.
Your SMART goal will be your "performance goal." It will be the focus of your training and what you ultimately want to achieve. However, this should not be your only goal.
Process Goals vs. Performance Goals
A race is simply a culmination of days and weeks of consistent training. It is a celebration of the hard work we have put in. Rather than simply focusing on that one event, the race, what if we instead set a goal focused on growth and setting us up for success on race day? Yes, it is still important to have a performance goal for your race, but by having other process-related goals along the way, we can obtain that gratification and satisfaction throughout our training, not just on race day!
Even if you don’t feel thirsty, hydration is extremely important in the summer months. When you sweat, you lose salt in addition to water. It is also important to replenish electrolytes as well.
Sharing Your Goal
The best way to commit to something is by sharing your goal with others. Being part of a community to offer support and encouragement can help you to achieve your goals. Sharing the experience with others also makes the journey even more meaningful! Join our Gone For a Run Facebook Groupopens a new window and share your goals with our wonderful community of runners, walkers & everything in between. We would love to hear them and help you along at every point in your journey towards achieving them!
Write It Down
Did you know, if you simply take the time to write down your goal you are 42% more likely to actually achieve it? Writing out your goal forces you to think vividly about what you want to achieve. It also serves as motivation to physically see your goal on paper. Want to enhance this effect of writing down your goal? Write your goal somewhere you will see it daily. This daily reminder of your “why” helps you lace-up your shoes on those days when all you want to do is stay in bed. With the constant reminder of what we are trying to achieve, we set ourselves up for success in reaching the SMART goals we develop.
If you need help setting a goal for your running, feel free to reach out to Coach Megan on Facebook!opens a new window She would love to chat and help you develop your own SMART goals no matter where you are currently at in your running.