What a great time to sit down and organize a running and racing schedule to keep you motivated and inspired all year long.
Choosing one or two main racing goals, then organizing other races to support that goal, keeps training fresh and fun. Whether your goal is to compete in your first race, run a marathon, or anything you have always wanted to do, you can benefit in many ways from goal-setting.
One of the benefits of goal-setting is you can visualize your goals and re-read them weekly to remind yourself and stay focused through tough training sessions. Having an organized schedule gives athletes something to look forward to. You can also race to test fitness levels and see where training may need to be modified or changed.
Another benefit to setting goals is to keep you on the right track.
Setting goals is a Action: You make a decision, develop a plan, and then work hard toward it. It gives you a greater sense of control over your life. You are asserting your ability to change your life and move toward the things that are important to you. You have a clear understanding of what each training run is preparing you for when your goals and racing schedule are complete. When you start to see progress and get closer to where you want to be your enthusiasm and motivation will soar.
There are many ways to organize and set goals. Here are a few that I find work well for me:
WRITE AND REVIEW
Visualizing and reviewing goals weekly or daily keeps training Fresh and Fun.
When writing down a goal, be specific with what you want and write it down as if you have already achieved it.
SET REALISTIC BUT CHALLENGING GOALS
If a goal is too easily attainable you may lose interest.
DEVELOP A PLAN OF HOW TO ACHIEVE YOUR GOAL
Hire a coach or join a running club-or meet with friends for runs. Mile to Marathon is a great group in Vancouver to help challenge you and stay accountable.
Have your goals written down or posted somewhere to see them daily
SHORT vs. LONG-TERM GOALS
Organize your goals in terms of priority and importance.
CREATE A TRAINING LOG
Keeping track of training runs helps in the long run to go back and see what worked and where you need to make changes. Training logs also are a great reminder how hard you have worked and to look back at all the workouts you have crushed.
Setting Goals is fun but remember to be open and flexible to change. If you fall short of your goal you still have the strength and training behind you to try again. It took me four attempts at the marathon before I hit my goal of breaking three hours. When I did do it I ran 2:54 making it a very special moment.
I teach this daily in my yoga classes that understanding it is not just about the final outcome but the journey of getting there is more important. The discipline, determination, and focus you gain from the experience can be used in all areas of life.
Goal-Keeping and setting is amazing self discovery. It will help you grow and make changes in all areas of life. Begin the transformation process now, and you will be amazed at the end of the year by all you have accomplished!