It’s a new year and for many of us that means making goals and setting our expectations for this coming year; career goals, personal goals, but what about running goals?
Think about it!
What did you accomplish last year?
Maybe you ran your first marathon or ran a personal record in the 5k, reflect on those accomplishments and lets build on that. Set some specific goals, don’t just go into the year thinking, “I’m going to pr this year” or “I’m going to run farther this year” – How are you going to accomplish that exactly?
Let’s look at it from a year long stand point, pick a few key races – a destination marathon or your hometown 10k because you want to show up an old training partner – make your goals and plan your training around them – come up with a racing plan.
The next step is writing it out!
Writing your goal down commits it to memory and allows you to display your goal where you can see it EVERY DAY!
Here’s the thing; you need a goal to progress in your training – you can’t have the same goal and use the same cookie cutter training plan and expect to make progress! You won’t improve off of the same training year after year, training that has worked for you before might not work in the same way the next time.
Your body is a crazy thing and will become accustomed to stress. This goes for more than just training – after cycles of stress and recovery your body becomes resistant and needs a higher level of stress for that system to react!
So the same beginner 10k plan that brought you to your first race won’t have the same effect on you for your second – you may still improve in the end because you have a race under your belt now but you won’t improve by as much. Every training cycle must build on the previous cycle – hence why having goals and planning races in advance is important!
I’m not telling you how many times to race a year – but be sure to pick out a few key races that the rest of the races build towards.
Here’s an example:
Goal: Spring Half Marathon PR & Fall First Marathon
Plan: A Year Long increase in mileage while working on different paces and finding what works best for you. Peak for the half – a few down weeks – and start building ideal mileage for the fall marathon. This gives you time to safely increase your mileage while learning what the pace feels like and finding what training style works best for you.
What’s your running goal for 2016?
Let’s figure this out! Don’t go into the new year or new racing season blind – training on a whim and racing when we feel like it.
Set your goals, pick your races, make a plan to pr and have your best year yet!
All it takes is a smart racing plan and commitment to that plan and the lifestyle that comes with it – you will be unstoppable.