So you’ve just started your Running Journey, congrats! This is what you need to know about setting goals and achieving them.
START SMALL AND WORK YOUR WAY TO THE TOP
It is important to set achievable goals. Start by integrating your runs with walks, just because you didn’t run the whole way doesn’t mean you’re not making process. You’ll be amazed how quickly you increase your running time and decrease your walking time. You’ll be running from 20minutes straight, to completing a full 5km in no time.
SET SMART GOALS
The acronym ‘SMART’ is the best way of remembering the criteria for choosing running goals.
S = Specific. Make your running goals precise, so rather than saying you want to run further, why not say you want to able to complete a 3km run inside 20 minutes by the end of the month.
M = Measurable. You need to be able to prove that your running target has been reached. Don’t guess when you’ve reached your goal, but monitor your improvement with a tracking device such as a Garmin.
A = Achievable. Your running goals must be achievable. Setting something that you know you can’t achieve will only be discouraging. Running in your local half marathon would be a realistic goal, while a top 20 finish in that race may not.
R = Realistic. Have some common sense when setting goals. Setting a target of improving your half marathon time by an hour this year is an extremely difficult target. However, a goal of improving your half marathon run time by minutes is likely to be more realistic.
T = Time-related. Make your goal time-related, this way you can create a deadline to work towards. ‘When I run the Great Ocean Road Running Festival in May, I want to improve my time by 10 minutes’ is a good time-related goal.
Regular running for beginners means getting out at least twice a week. It is better to run twice a week every week, than to run every day for one week and then not run at all for the rest of the month. By getting some continuity in your run training, your running will improve as your body adapts to the consistent training stimulus. If you’re wanting to achieve that longer distance milestone, check out our training plans.
KEEP YOURSELF ACCOUNTABLE
It doesn’t matter if you’re working full-time, a stay at home parent or university student, chances are there are a lot of other things competing for your free time. Training is an outlet for many people, and can be the best part of participating in a race, so use that as motivation to stay on task.
REGISTER FOR A RUNNING EVENT
Signing up to a running event automatically sets a goal for you to achieve a specific distance, or run it in a certain time. It doesn’t matter if it is a real event or a virtual one. Use this as motivation to not only keep running, but to push yourself to run that little bit further/ little bit faster.
RUN FOR CHARITY
Running for a charity not only raises money for a cause that holds a special place in your heart, but it can also act as the best motivation to keep your training and goals on track. Share your story with as many people as you can. This might not only convince them to donate, it may even get them raising money themselves! Creating a fundraising page is easy, start yours today.