RUN, RACE AND SET GOALS

My first Article for Fitness Goop was posted last week. I will be contributing to the online magazine twice a month. Fitness Goop is a amazing wellness resource. Take a peek frequently as they are always posting new exciting health and wellness articles.
Check out my first article:

RUN, RACE AND SET GOALS

It’s the start of a new year. 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 goal races then organizing other races to support that goal keeps training fresh and fun. If your goal is to compete in your first race, run a marathon, or compete as an elite athlete you can benefit in many ways from goal setting.

One of the benefits is you can visualize your goals, and re-read them weekly to remind yourself and stay motivated through tough training sessions.

Having an organized racing 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 an action. You make a decision, develop a plan, and then work toward it. It gives you a greater sense of control over your life. Once you set a goal you are asserting your ability to change your life and move towards the things that matter to you. You have a clear understanding what each training run is preparing you for when your goals and racing schedule is complete.

There are many ways to organize your goals. This is one way that may work for you. When you start to see progress throughout the year your motivation and enthusiasm will soar.

1. Write and review your goals – Visualizing and reviewing goals weekly or daily keeps training fresh and fun.

2. Be specific – when writing down a goal. Be specific with what you want and write it down as if you have already achieved it i.e. I have run 39:00 in the 10k by May 30, 2011.

3. Set realistic but challenging goals – if a goal is to easily attainable you may lose interest.

4. Develop a plan of how to achieve your goals – hire a coach or join a running club, even meet with friends for runs.

5. Post reminders – have your goals written down somewhere so you can see them daily.

6. Short vs. long term goals. Organize the goals in terms of priority and importance.

7. 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.

Setting goals is important. Being open and flexible to make changes is just as important if for some reason you do not meet your goals.

Deena Kastor, Olympic medalist and one of the greatest marathoners in the world, has some good advice for any runner or athlete. Gordan, a writer for the Running Times states,

It takes a wise and mature runner to arrive at such an understanding of the purpose and function of goal-setting, Kastor urges runners to put their energy into striving to attain goals and to move on wiser and stronger, no matter what the outcome”.

If I fall short,” says Kastor “I still have the strength and training behind me as I set out for my next goal. I set myself up the best I can to achieve a race goal. When I fall short, there is always something to be grateful for and it is usually that I became stronger and healthier in the process.”

This is a great quote understanding that it’s not just about the final outcome but the journey of getting there that’s important. The discipline, determination and focus you gain from the experience can be used in all areas of life.

Goal keeping and setting is great 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 of all the goals you have accomplished.