Thursday, December 26, 2013

Running Goals

Goal setting is important. It's especially good to set goals that are motivating, yet still achievable, and that can be broken down into smaller goals that move you toward your big ones. I don't necessarily like the idea of New Year's resolutions because those tend to be vague and more difficult to implement. I also think goal setting is an iterative process that should be evaluated regularly. I have a set of work goals that I have broken down into short and long term, and then into smaller parts underneath.

In my personal life I've tried to focus on one small goal each month, especially for goals that revolve around new habits (as many often do). This time last year I was working on flossing every day, and I am happy to report that I only missed a handful of days during the entire year. When I started losing weight I set a goal of 180 pounds. When I got there, I knew I could go further and set my sights on 160, the lowest I'd weighed since high school. When I got there, I changed my goal to increasing my physical fitness rather than aiming for a specific number on the scale.

Now that I've become a runner, I want to set some running specific goals for the year. I hadn't thought much about it but I saw a post on setting running goals from fellow blogger Brandon at Forks to Feet. Then I got my first two issues of Runners World magazine (thanks to Carly for the gift!), and much of the January issue is devoted to the same topic. I've been using some of my down time to think about goals that are sufficiently difficult but achievable.

Goal #1
Run the Best Damn Race 10K in March - I haven't ever run a 10K so I don't have a PR to break, but I'd like to come in under an hour.

Goal #2
Run the Florida Beach Halfathon in March - I'd like to beat my 2:16:56 time in this race, and I'd love to come in under 2:10.

Goal #3
Do different speed work runs each week - I've been doing the same interval run once a week. I know it's helpful, but I think mixing it up will help me break through some time goals

Goal #4
Increase my weekly run total - during my first half marathon training I was running between 13 and 19 miles each week, I'd like to stay between 15 and 22 this year. I'm going to tentatively aim for 950 miles this year and reach for 1000.

Goal #5
Make some running friends - so far every run I've done in my life except two races has been solo. While I appreciate this time to be with my thoughts as an active meditation, I would like to have some people to meet up with on a semi-regular basis. I've joined a few Meetup groups and hope to run with one soon.

These five goals are certainly achievable but I will have to be consistent. I definitely want to run at least one or two more races in 2014 but I haven't looked that far ahead yet. I rewarded myself for setting these goals today by buying some new shoes from Running Warehouse.

Before I go, since we're on the subject, I am pleased that I've kept up my training even though it's a holiday week, I am in a different place, and I am freeeeeeezing!

Post-Jingle Jog - my phone camera lens was foggy!

Yesterday I did my first annual Jingle Jog - only 2 miles because it was 10-12 degrees out and I am used to balmy Florida sunshine! Today I did my planned 4.5 miles with speedwork on the treadmill at the gym. I now know why runners refer to it as the dreadmill, but I'm glad I stuck with my plans!

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