Some people run to lose weight, some for a challenge and some as a social activity. However, if you want to keep running and keep on improving then it helps to have a strategy. What is is you want out of running and how our you going to achieve and then measure that? Having a set of goals within your strategy will help with your motivation as you reach and then surpass them.
Here’s my strategy:
I’m a very goal orintated person. I like to have targets and challenges and feel satisfied when I meet or exceed these. I’m also a very active and energetic person – I NEED to have some form of sport or activity to counter balance sitting down in an office all day. When I was younger I played a lot of football and hockey, but when I broke my nose badly playing hockey, I turned to running (although this still has it’s dangers!) I enjoy all the friendships I’ve made through running however I am just as happy to head out for a run by myself, so the social side isn’t a huge priority for me.
BHAGs (Big Hairy Audacious Goals)
You gotta have a BHAG, something just at the very edge of reality. something that could maybe one day happen if you just put your mind to it. Like when you first pick up a guitar, your BHAG is to play Wembley Stadium or you first kick a football and dream of playing up front for Manchester United.
…is to win an affiliated road race and I don’t care what distance or what time I do it in. It might happen in 6 months or 10 years but that’s my dream and what keeps me going out into the sleet after a long day at work in the middle of winter.
These are more realistic and you can have a few of them, although still keep them pretty high level though. These objectives will contribute to reaching my BHAG.
1) To come in the top three in my club championship
2) To come in the top three in the Dorset Road Running League
3) To do an Olympic length Triathlon
4) To run at an organised athletics meet
Goals / Tactics
Your goals are shorter term and will help you towards reaching your objectives
1) Run at least 20 miles per week
2) Do at least one speed session per week
3) Do one long run of 70+ minutes each week
4) Run a 5k in under 17:30 minutes
5) Run a 10k in under 37 minutes
6) Run 10 miles in under 65 minutes
7) Run a half marathon in under 90 minutes
8) Run 400m in under 55 seconds
9) Take part in three sprint triathlons followed by an Olympic distance triathlon
That should just about do me for the time being! See how my goals link directly back to my insight. I like targets and challenges so my goals are very time based. If you run for social reasons then your goals may be around attending running club events or even marshalling for a race.