This weekend we in the US change our clocks by ‘springing forward’. It is a sign that spring is here, and winter is moving to our rearview mirror. Indeed, the birds start chirping, and the sun shines a little clearer. What a better time to revisit your running goals, and think about some ways to supercharge your running program.
Here are a Ten Running Goals you may want to look at this spring (or anytime) to improve your running:
Ten Running Goals
1) Write out Your Running Goals
People who write down their goals are the ones that succeed. The adage of ‘if you fail to plan, you plan to fail’ is true. If you do not know where you are going, you usually will not get anywhere. Writing down your goals is a great way to stay motivated as well. Once you write your goals down, it is important to review them periodically. You could put a list of your goals on your bathroom mirror, tack your goals to the refrigerator, or put them on your computer desktop. By having your goals visible each day, you will be reminded to stick with it an continue to improve.
2) Sign up for a Race
Go ahead and sign up for that race you have been thinking about. Whether it is a 5K run, a fun run, or even a full marathon, scheduling a race in advance is a great way to get motivated to run. Make the event fun by inviting friends to join in. Or, consider signing up for a race that is out-of-town. When selecting a race, make sure that you give yourself enough time to train for the race.
3) Weight Loss Goal
Perhaps the main reason you are rung is to drop a couple of pounds, or maybe you want to lose a few inches. A good goal for weight loss is to lose about a pound per week.
4) Daily MIleage Goal
Set a goal to be able to run a certain distance. Perhaps you want to be able to run 5 miles in a single run in three months from now. Or maybe you want to be able to run a long run of 15 miles in six months. Just remember to increase your mileage steady and slow.
5) Increase Your Weekly Mileage
Set a weekly mileage goal, and increase your mileage by 5 to 10% per week. For example, if you run 3 miles three times a week, go ahead and add a half-mile to full mile to one of those days each week for a couple of weeks.
6) Improve Your Times
Do you want to run a 5K in under 25 minutes? Perhaps you want to run a marathon in under 4 hours. Setting a time goal can be a great way to improve your rung, whether you want to improve on your regular runs or an upcoming race, write out.
7) Write a Running Schedule
Write down what days you will run, how far you will run, and what days you will take off. If you plan on doing running workouts, or cross training, go ahead and include those days as well. I have written out a running schedule for beginners that may help you. Feel free to use this as written, or use it as a template. Either way, you do not have to follow the schedule to the letter, but it will be a basic guide to help you stay on track.
8) Eat Better
By now, you probably know what you should eat. Whether you are running to lose weight, training for an upcoming race, or maintaining fitness, your eating habits will play a big role in your goals. Maybe you can just make one change in your eating per week (or month). For example, the first month perhaps you start using Splenda in your coffee. Next month you eat a piece of fruit for a snack instead of junk food. Over the course of time, you eating habits will improve, as will your running and your figure!
9) Run an Extra Day
If you are running less than five or six times a week, consider adding an extra day of running. If you follow the running schedule I wrote, then you will be either running or walking five times a week. On this program, just change one of the walking days to an easy running day. This is a great way to increase your weekly mileage.
10) Get Some Rest
This is the easiest goal on the list, though it is important. It is vital that you give your body adequate rest between hard runs and workouts. The rule of thumb is that you should not run two hard days in a row. In other words, run one hard day, then one easy day. I take one day off a week, I cross train twice a week, and run four times a week. Two of those days are hard, one is easy and one is a medium distance run.
Bonus Tip: Share Your Goals
Once you share your goals with your friends, you now have someone to hold you accountable. They are sure to ask you sometime soon, ‘Hey, how are you coming with that 5K training?”, or “How ouch weight have you lost?”. Knowing that your friends are going to ask you these questions is likely to be motivation to stay on track with your running goals.
What do you think?
I love to get feedback from the readers. Please feel free to let me know your thoughts about this blog. In particular, let us know what you think about this:
What are your running goals for the next few months?
Go ahead and share your goal, and start improving today!