Life without goals is like a rugby field without a try line. Pretty pointless really. In running, goals give us purpose and drive. They stare us in the face each time we attempt to neglect our trainers for the day. They keep our training on track.
So, it’s 2016 and you’re signed up for Rotorua Marathon. Good. Goal #1 in place. But a big goal like that is going to need some stepping stones—some smaller goals that will break down that big mountain of a goal into bite-sized pieces.
So here are some ideas for putting together some stepping stone running goals:
Goals should not just focus on the outcome but also on the processes and habits that will get you there.
So, in running, some great process goals could include:
- Running a certain number of kilometres each week or month
- Running a certain number of days each week
- Doing something everyday to improve your running (whether that be stretching, foam rolling, getting a massage, reading a running blog)
R16 Action Point: What are some unique processes that you can implement today to help you reach your running/fitness goals this year ?
Build Up Races
If Rotorua Marathon (or half or quarter) is your #1 goal race, the perfect prep should actually include some races of lesser importance. These will typically be shorter distance and possibly have a unique twist like being off road or in a different city.
You can target these stepping stone races in order to:
- Practice being in a race setting (pre-race nerves can be quite full on for first-timers!)
- Test your fitness and help set a target time for Rotorua
- Try out all your race gear (check if anything will chaff or blister)
- Get in a great workout in the company of other runners
R16 Action Point: Jump over to Running Calendar and find a couple of races near you. Typically you should race a half marathon within a month of racing a marathon, but a 5 or 10k a couple of weeks out is perfect.
Cross Training & Nutrition Goals
Good running training is all about consistent but slow progress. This is because fast progress comes with a massive risk of running injuries. So our achievements in running training can often be small and rather unimpressive, especially when it comes to sharing them on social media.
“Oh what, you only ran 1km further than last week?! Is that all!?”
To combat this gradual nature of your training, throw in some other little milestones related to cross training. You might have a burpie or push up challenge where you track your progress each week (on a rest day from running). Or you might aim to eat a certain number of salad or healthy smoothie meals each week.
R16 Action Point: Let your running goals influence other areas of your life like meals, sleep routines, and cross training.
This is the fourth blog of a fortnightly series all about getting you trained up and raring to go for the 2016 Lion Foundation Rotorua Marathon (or half or quarter).
Be sure to grab your race entry here and check out TempoFit’s TEAM R16 to be part of an incredible community of likeminded runners of all abilities who are all training towards the Lion Foundation Rotorua Marathon 2016 (quarter, half and full distances).