New Years can be a great time to reflect and set new goals for runners. It fits well into most training cycles as most major fall races and even early winter racing has finished and runners are gearing up for spring. I want to hear from you!
Thinking back over 2021 what do you think went well and what would you like to improve on? What goals were you able to reach and what did you leave on the table? Where there circumstances within your control that left you unable to reach those goals and were there circumstances outside of your control to impeded progress?
Time to take that reflection of the past year and begin to set you up for success. The key to creating and reaching your goals is to set up realistic, cohesive goals. Goals that include smaller obtainable milestones and action steps that work towards your larger goal. Start with the end and working backwards, what is you big goal for 2022? What are smaller goals that you will need to reach to get there? What do you need to be doing to reach those steps?
- Make your goal “SMART”
- Write 3-5 smaller goals that will help you reach your big goal
- What action steps can you (or your coach) do to help you get there
Example, my personal 2022 goals.
After almost then entire year of 2021 off of training due to pregnancy limitations and post-partum recovery. I am ready to set my sights on 2022. I would love to hit some huge PRs and return to the world of competitive running, but realistically that would be a very aggressive goal that I would be unlikely to reach as other priorities such as work and family will take precedent over. Instead, I am looking forward to a healthy, injury free return to running with the goal to run a marathon and qualify for Boston before the 2023 registration window closes. Smaller goals/milestones to reach along the way include, running a sub 20 min 5k and 1:30 half marathon. Averaging 50+ miles per week through the summer. To achieve this goal, I plan to run 5 days a week starting smaller and allowing my body to adjust to increasing mileage. I plan to include 2 days of strength training to help me build a strong more injury resilient body. I want to include 3 days of mobility and pre-hab as well. Once I have safely rebuilt my base and been consistent in training, I will reincorporate speed/quality sessions 2 times a week.
Planning for obstacles and overcoming challenges
So, now you have your goals and in a perfect world you would go out and crush them with no problems. We all know that challenges are going ot arise. We need to accept what we can not control and adapt to in ways we can. Taking time to reflect on previous personal challenges, and forsee possible issues that may arise will allow you to better navigate them. Some common issues I see with runners I work with
- Overtraining- Too much, too soon, too fast. Often runners with lofty goals start out with a bang early in the year and quickly fizzle out. Starting our focusing on your current training and slowly making the needed adjustments and building consistency is much more effective. Overtraining is also the leading cause for injuries in runners.
- Over racing- Racing is a skill and needs to be practiced. So lead up racing through the training cycle are a great idea. However, too much racing can hinder proper training and recovery.
- Unfocused- Runners want to reach all the goals at all of the distances. Hitting gup their 5k PR while also tackling their first ultra and bumping up to and chasing a new PR in the triathlon. Individually these are great goals but in a single training cycle you aren’t focusing on anything, and everything ends up being mediocre. There is a way to lay out these goals through out the year with emphasis in different phases and laying them our in a manner that compliment each other
When challenges arise, how will you address them. Don’t be afraid to reassess and rest your goals based on what is happening in your life. Working with a coach in your corner can give you a sounding board and ideas on how to better navigate these issues. Do not hesitate to reach out so we can make this year a huge success.
As always consistency is the biggest key to success with endurance training.
What NEW for RUNCANVAS in 2022?
After a year away, you will begin to see lots of new training tips and informal on the RunCanvas website. With weekly blog posts, race discounts and running deals. Social media is getting revamped and updated daily. Be sure to follow along!
Let’s make 2022 an awesome year for runners!