Runners are often incredibly driven people who thrive on timetables and planning because of their sport’s inherent nature. Because goals typically provide them with some kind of statistic or benchmark to use in determining whether or not they have been successful, it is easy to understand why people might sometimes get quite focused on obtaining particular aims. But by maintaining such a singular concentration, they might be doing more damage to themselves than good.
It should come as no surprise that achieving one’s objectives can be both rewarding and difficult.On the one hand, they have the potential to be an incredible source of motivation, assisting runners through the peaks and valleys, high points and low points, that are inherent in every training cycle.On the other hand, if care is not taken in their selection, they have the potential to be harmful, demoralizing, or even dangerous to runners.
This article focuses on several considerations that runners ought to make in order to set goals for their running endeavors that will be beneficial to them rather than detrimental to their progress as runners.
Think about the world as it is
This may be something that goes without saying, yet it bears restating since it is important. Runners can often get so laser-focused on accomplishing their objectives that they overlook taking into account the circumstances of their lives at the present moment. Running does not take place in a vacuum; therefore, all aspects of life, including work, family, and other unique responsibilities and commitments, will have an effect on a runner’s capacity to accomplish the goals they have set for themselves.
When runners sit down to set their objectives, it is essential for them to take into account the significant concerns in their lives outside of running that will undoubtedly have an effect on their running and their motivation to devote to their training. For instance, if you just gave birth to your first child, have a very busy schedule ahead of you, or have a lot of responsibilities at work, it may not be very realistic for you to strive to establish a record for the number of miles you drive each month.
Take accurate measurements
Goals can be oriented toward the process or the product, and both approaches have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. It is crucial for runners to examine if pursuing a process-oriented goal rather than a product-oriented objective, or vice versa, suits their current and near-term realities while they are making decisions about their ambitions. The importance of a goal’s ability to be measured or quantified cannot be overstated. It is not necessary that one sort of goal is superior to another.
If runners do not receive some form of quantifiable feedback, it will become increasingly difficult for them to determine whether or not they are making improvement. Someone might make the decision to “become a stronger runner,” for instance, but if there isn’t some kind of measurable aspect to this objective, it becomes more of an idealistic concept than something that can be put into practice. Here is where activity monitors and sports watches might be of assistance. Not only do they provide a record of your runs, but they also quantify your activity, allowing you to monitor patterns over time. This is accomplished by producing a log of your runs.
Ideas for goals that go beyond the PRs and PBs
The pursuit of personal records (PRs) or personal bests is likely the most obvious target that runners might aim for as their primary objective (PBs). These are the kinds of goals that are straightforward and easily quantifiable, but any seasoned runner will tell you that personal records for performances are transitory.
If runners start each race with the assumption that they will set a personal record, they will, in the vast majority of cases, be left feeling disheartened and disappointed. It is important to note that this does not indicate that setting the goal of “to set a PR” is a bad thing; rather, it is meant to highlight the fact that there are alternative ways to assess success and improvement in running.
The following is a list of several additional goals that runners may choose to pursue, all of which have the potential to improve their overall results over time:
As previously stated, training to set a personal record (PR) in a specific race time or distance is critical.
Maintaining good health and avoiding running-related injuries, which can be measured by the number of times you become sick or the existence of running-related ailments;
ensuring that you get a certain amount of sleep each night, given how important sleep is in running and training;
Over and above the aims of losing weight or changing body composition (though these too could be goals), striving for better nutrition and a more informed nutritional awareness, such as increasing the amount of fruits, vegetables, and key macronutrients consumed on a daily basis;
Incorporating strength training into training on a more consistent basis and, once strength training has become a regular part of the routine, establishing mini-goals related to the amount of weight that you are able to push, pull, or press, or the number of times per week that you engage in strength training;
setting percentage goals at each part of a training cycle, such as aiming to hit a certain percentage of workouts or mileage; at the base level, simply running to have fun and running for the sheer joy of running; Setting percentage goals at each point in a training cycle, such as aiming to hit a certain percentage of workouts or mileage, Running for the sake of running rather than racing or training for a specific event can be immensely beneficial in reducing injury and burnout, which in turn can assist runners in achieving their long-term goals.
The process of establishing goals that will be beneficial for running can be a tricky endeavor. The most important thing for runners to do is to pay attention to their bodies and prioritize the advice their bodies provide them over whatever goals they may have set for themselves (in an effort to avoid being injured because, let’s face it, runners can’t run when they’re hurt)!
There are plenty of other ways that runners can motivate themselves and push themselves to greater heights, thereby becoming stronger, fitter, and faster versions of themselves in the process, despite the fact that it’s easy and tempting to just resort to “setting a new PR” as a goal. In reality, PR performances are hard to come by.