You might be thinking of many targets and many of them might be related, such as complete a race, run x amount of miles, run a personal best, run a route or distance in a certain time etc. It’s often useful to write your goals down and using the SMART approach to setting your goals can be helpful. I often have multiple goals and writing each one down using the following approach really helps.
1. Specific – Write your goal down and be specific about what you will achieve eg ‘I will run a time of 30 mins for 5k’, ‘I will run 50 miles in one month’. Use real numbers with specific targets.
2. Measurable – Make sure your goal is trackable and can be measured. Running is easy to measure; you can use running distance/time to set your goal.
3. Attainable – Make sure the goal is challenging but possible. Do not try to set a massive goal that is well beyond your limits but do make it challenging enough to lead to gradual progression.
4. Relevant – Make sure the goal really matters to you and explain why you want to do this.
Eg. ‘I want to challenge my own limits’, win a medal or earn something specific.
5. Timescale – Make sure your goal has a timeframe, one month, three months or even use weekly goals if you need to. I use a weekly goal, ‘I will run x miles this week’. Don’t keep pushing towards a goal you might achieve ‘some day’.
With renewed commitments to starting a new fitness or training regimen and an injection of enthusiasm it is also a time when people can often ‘ramp up’ their miles and ignore the fact that training is a gradual process. We recommend increasing weekly mileage by no more than 5 to 10 miles per week if you are increasing your volume. We’ve seen many people increase their training much too quickly with the end result being muscle strains and tendon injuries. With spring half marathons and marathons ahead many people also start to increase their training volume and number of sessions in the belief that they need to be running much more, with the end result that they do too much early on and often get injured. We recommend doing no more than 2 or 3 hard workouts a week, the rest should be easy runs at a relaxed pace or rest days. If you have run hard one day, make sure the next day or two are easy recovery or rest days. Run by all means but go very, very easy and try most of all to enjoy it. And that really is the key thing about running…ENJOY IT…enjoy being fit and healthy and the joy that running can bring.
If you would like extra motivation, check out the Fitwins App with new monthly challenges to keep you motivated.