Be SMART With Your Goal Setting.
Setting a SMART Goal (Specific, Measurable, Adjustable, Realistic, Time-based) is the best way to ensure that you know exactly where you want to be. Instead of saying, “I want to lose weight” your goal should say, “I want to lose 10lbs by February 1st”. By having a more concise goal, you can have a concise plan…
Have A Plan.
Whether you invest in a coach, find an online plan, or simply take the advice from a knowledgeable local source, you will need a defined plan for reaching your goals. Your plan should include everything from training days, recovery days, work schedule, family obligations, vacations etc. The more detailed your plan is, the more likely you are to succeed
Surround Yourself with Like-Minded People.
Joining a running group, finding a running buddy, or even getting reassurance from your friends and family that they support your goal is huge to accomplishing your goals. Research shows you are 65% more likely to stick to a training plan when you are held accountable by a partner. Not only will these new running partners hold you accountable in training, but they can be great for motivation at races, new adventures, and any crazy plans you have for the future.
Always Do the Little Things.
We often overlook the need to warm-up, cool-down, stretch, foam-roll, and cross-train, but these are essential for hitting your goals. While all of these things encompass only 30-60min of effort each day, they can keep your body happy and healthy year round. By not incorporating these into your training, you risk injury, which makes it that much more difficult to reach your goals. Set aside time for a 5min plyometric warm-up before each run, a 10min cool-down stretch & foam roll session, and at least 2-3 gym sessions a week on non-strenuous running days.
Many runners get so caught up in reaching their goals that they forget to enjoy the journey. Science has proven that intrinsically motivated runners have greater long term success compared to those who are extrinsically motivated. What this means is those who truly enjoy running, will often perform better over the course of a year than runners who simply want to run for external factors such as beating a time goal, winning their age-group, or performing better amongst their peers. These can all still be motivational factors, but those who have love for the sport of running because it makes them feel good, are more likely to stick to their plan and accomplish these things all at once.