31 questions that will help you achieve them.
Did you work on your GOALS for this year? what about now? Or are you midyear and want to start running?
An idea and a goal are completely different things. An idea is something unreal, that you think about, a dream of, try and maybe… just maybe will come true, but a goal is something concrete that will take you from A to B with planned steps, timelines and alternate ways to achieve it.
Following the SMART methodology (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-based) I’ll give you a list with questions that will help you establish a BASELINE so you will de able to determine where do you want to go and have a great running year.
This will allow you to set your own goal and you won’t have to use your friend’s, training partner’s, wife’s or anybody else’s goal.
I must warn you, you will have to answer a lot of questions and also you’ll have to think a lot, but in order to set a goal that is both exciting and truly motivating for us to achieve it, we have to know first where do we stand, what do we want to achieve and WHY do we want to do it. Then put it in writing and I can assure you that you’ll be midway there.
1.- How many miles did you run in last year?
2.- How many days per week did you run on average? Yes! Your weekly average during those 52 weeks!!
3.- How many races did you enter?
4.- What distances?
5.- Your personal bests in 2015 in 1 mile, 5k, 10k, etc. Past times are only used for reference. Your CURRENT fitness level will be the starting point to establish your goals.
6.- How much did you spend on race registrations last year?
7.- How much did you spend on running apparel and footwear?
8.- How much did you spend on accessories? (watch, bags, eyewear, Apps, smartphone) do you really know how to use your gadgets?
9.- How much did you spend in nourishment (energy or recovery drinks, bars, gels, supplements, after training breakfasts, etc.)
10.- How much did you spend on running trips or running vacations to attend races?
11.- How much did you spend on a personal trainer, group training / shared training, Runners club?
12.- Had you a sports-related injury this year? How many?
13.- How many times were you sick during the year (flu, stomachache, or other minor sicknesses).
14.- Are you active in another sport besides running? Gym, yoga, weights, swimming?
15.- Did you gain or lose weight? How many pounds.
16.- Have you any training knowledge? Do you know what VO2 Max, tempo training mean? how to increase mileage to run faster or longer? How to lower your times safely? How to train using your heartrate? What type of stride you have? What is your optimum rhythm for speed training days? Recovery days? Distance days? Etc.
17.- Do you run mainly on weekends? During the week? At what time?
18.- What DO you like about running?
19.- What you DON’T like about running?
20.- What it’s hard about running?
21.- What it’s easy about running?
22.- What scares you?
24.- What worries you?
25.- You always run with others? Why?
26.- You only run alone? Why?
27.- You always listen to music while running? Why?
28.- You hate to listen to music while running? Why?
29.- You only run with your significant other? Why? What do you think will happen if you ever break up?
30.- Is your life totally dedicated to work and train? Do you think that’s the right thing to do? Do you think that’s healthy long term?
31.- Do you know what your family/significant other really think about your approach to running?
32.- Are you prepared in case of a sports-related emergency? Do you have medical insurance? Have you ever visited a doctor for a health check-up? Are you getting advice from a nutritionist? Chiropractor? Sports physician? Runners coach with reliable academic background? (Reality is that the strong and fit gym instructor often lacks a Runners coach or Marathon coach certification and that NOT all sports and fitness brands invest in professionally certified coaches to lead their sponsored running programs).
Once you answer this questions you’ll have the foundation to establish a goal and there are many different types of goals, below I will outline some, but not all.
- Performance: more mileage, improving times, train more often, safer, fewer races, a Half Marathon, a Marathon, five marathons, an ultra marathon.
- Budget: do you spend too much money? Too little? Do you invest in health or spend in the latest fashion? Is it worth it to participate in fewer races and spend less on clothing to be able to travel to a marathon abroad? Within your own country? Have you discovered that the amount spent on “running food” you’ll be able to afford that expensive race or run more races? Or lose weight faster eliminating those after running breakfasts?
- Spiritual/ Emotional:
- Are you worried about not being able to register for a race, are you afraid of running your first Half Marathon, do you want to be proud of a higher achievement?
- Or have you noticed you are too demanding with yourself? Have you finally noticed that you always talk about running and never train? You give up in the last miles or you give up too soon? Running helps you manage stress or to get away from reality? Do you run to have fun or to compete?
- Have you noticed that you run too much and are always injured? That you get the flu every three months or after a big race? Have you noticed that you spend a lot in “performance food” and you NEVER lose weight?
- Technical knowledge: how much do you really know about the sport you love? Do you spend more money in apparel and accessories than in improving your running technique with a PROFESSIONAL CERTIFIED TRAINER? Could you spend less money in “performance food” (energy drinks, energy bars, energy gel) and invest in a book? Do you believe everything that a person with a T-shirt that has “Coach or “Pacer” (the new trendy word) written on it without questioning his/her knowledge and training? Do you know which official institution certifies running coaches in your city, state or country? Do you know in whose hands you are putting your health and your running goals?
My suggestion is that you set a maximum of 3 goals for this year, divided into small steps for each quarter (3 month period), pick one from each of the above-mentioned spheres (performance, budget, emotional, health and knowledge).
Don’t get carried away choosing “lose weight”, “running your first marathon” and “qualify for Boston”. Those three are from the sports area. Some goals are a side effect of a bigger goal. Think twice and chose wisely.
Be realistic, if you ran an average of 2 times per week, don’t expect to run 6 times a week this year. If you logged 500 miles last year don’t expect to DOUBLE that amount.
Share your opinion and goals on my Facebook page, Instagram or here, you will find me as @Training262, or at firstname.lastname@example.org
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