There's nothing that I love more than some goal talk... so here we go!
The thing about running that is so gratifying (and possibly frustrating) is that you're never at your limit. There is ALWAYS more that you can push yourself to do. Pretty much every marathon (or race for that matter) I go into it with a time goal in mind at the beginning of that cycle. It's something I think about on most of the runs. Here are some of the things that I think are helpful in setting- and reaching- a goal!
1. DECIDE IT! Before you even begin training, I think it's a good idea to have an idea where you want to end up. Having an end goal in mind is key for getting you to do the hard workouts in between. Knowing that I have a psycho goal I'm trying to hit makes me less apt to hit the snooze for a Saturday 5 am alarm to get me up for my tempo runs.
2. CHART IT! If you've been running for awhile, getting a little more focused with your times and what times you need to be hitting will be something huge to help you hit your goal. To help me gauge where I'm at and where I want to be I usually use this chart. It's pretty much my favorite thing ever. Usually I'll look over to the time I want to hit in a certain distance, like the marathon- and then see what I need to be hitting in the 5k, 10k, and half so that in my training cycle I can hit those times for that race and feel more confident going into a marathon that I can hit my goal there since I hit the paces needed for the other distances. Hope that wasn't confusing- but really- play around with this chart. It's really useful.
3. PLAN IT! Basically figure out the logistics to make your goal a reality. Goal setting is great. But nothing is crazier than setting a goal and then not actually setting yourself up with a plan to make that goal happen. Positive thinking is great- and so important. But positive thinking won't pick up your legs and move them faster for you. You've got to do the work in the meantime to make your goals come to fruition. Figure out a schedule, commit to that schedule and trust the process that it will get you to your goal.
4. WRITE IT! Once you pick your goal- write it down. Tell people. Post it on social media. Make your goal public- whether it's to complete a race/do a certain time/ etc. No sense making a goal if you don't wholeheartedly commit to it. Go balls to the wall and put it out there.
5. BELIEVE IT! Your mind is such a powerful thing. As easily as you can will yourself to do something, you can in that same way, completely sabotage your opportunity to do it. When you've set a goal- you need to commit to it- all the way. That means not letting the negativity and self-doubt in. Surround yourself with other positive people that will reassure you whenever you're letting the craziness of training get to you- that you got this. The whole training cycle before Mountains 2 Beach, I was pretty much bursting with confidence and just felt like I really would qualify for Boston- the last few weeks were the toughest for me with the reality of actually having to execute this big goal (what would be an almost 14 minute PR for me) and I was lucky to have great family and friends to talk me off the edge and let me know that I had this in the bag.
Hope you set some big goals this training cycle. It makes training a lot more exciting and gratifying.
Training today was pretty chill- a 4 miler before work in the morning and then a fun 5 mile run with these speedy friends just catching up on life. Love my Milestone Wednesday night runs. I REALLY need to get a plan together to start doing some weights. It's been a MINUTE (read 2 full months) since I have done any stretching/strength training basically anything besides running- and I KNOW how doing strength training changed my running before and I feel the deficit without it. Since I have ZERO idea what I'm doing (which I'm not sure how that is possible since I lifted for a year in college- convenient amnesia), I think I'll try to find a good strength training plan for runners, print it out and totally geek out at the gym with my strength training printouts. Let me know if you have any other ideas of what I should do to look even MORE out of place. I think next week will be my FIRST OFFICIAL week of training for the San Diego Holiday Half (yes!) and my big PR there (YES!) and I'm SO excited.
Hope y'all have a great day... and make some time in it to get a run in!