3 Types of Running Goals – Which One Should You Go For??

3 Types of Running Goals – Which One Should You Go For??

I am sooooooo extra 1000% excited for the new year and a fresh start. How are you feeling about everything? I want to talk about big scary goals and mini goals to help me get there and everything in between.

But before I share my 2021 goals… I’m sharing tips on the 3 main categories of running goals YOU can use to help you set your own.

Whether you’re new to running or an experienced marathon runner – setting goals is important. It helps you stay motivated, accountable and gives you a way to measure your progress. But this doesn’t have to be about races or paces.

Running goals don’t have to be about running faster or even about running a race at all. Your goals can be related to running but measured by your own ruler. So watch the video about the different types of running goals.

Then, take a few deep breaths, close your eyes and visualize what you want to accomplish this year. Write down your top health and fitness goals. If it’s to qualify for the Boston Marathon – GO GET ‘EM!! But, if it’s to get in better shape, lose weight or something similar – you can use running as a tool to help you achieve that (without any race bibs or porta-potties involved).

One of the things I hope we’ve all learned from 2020 is that – life is short. Set some goals that are important to YOU. Then – chase them down. I’m rooting for you!

Free Running Miles Tracker

Once you have your goal named – make sure you’re staying accountable! I suggest using the 2021 Miles Tracker and putting up this month’s calendar somewhere you’ll see it everyday. It’s a good reminder to help you stay motivated and on track. (Plus – it’s cute.)

3 Types of Running Goals tips for runners

Running Goals start with these 3 different categories:

Running for Fitness – If your main goal is fitness you should set a goal to run a certain number of days each week. And make each of those sessions for a set amount of time – not distance. So you can focus on building up your cardio fitness without the pressure of running a set speed or distance.

Examples of Running for Fitness Goals:

  • Run/Walk 30 minutes 3 days a week
  • Build up to running 20 minutes without stopping
  • Run 1 Mile 3 days a week
  • Run 3 miles every Mon, Wed & Fri
  • Run/Walk 20 minutes Mon-Fri

Personal Challenge – If you want to incorporate running into your new year’s resolution or just set a new fitness goal – making it a personal challenge can be a fun way to go for it.

Examples of Personal Challenge Goals:

  • Run 50 Miles a Month
  • Run Streak at least 1 mile a day for 30 days
  • Run Bet with my friends who can run the most in 30 days
  • Run 1000 Miles this year
  • Run 2021 Miles this year

Race Specific – Want to run your first 5K race? Want to run a half marathon in under 2 hours?? Any type of goal related to running a race falls into this category. These goals are more challenging than running for straight fitness because they require you to have a training plan and goal race date. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first race or your 100th – if your goal is to run a strong in person or virtual race, you need to follow a training plan and show up on race day.

Examples of Race Specific Goals:

  • Run a 5K by June
  • Run a 10K by June
  • Run a Half Marathon in under 2 hours this year
  • Run a sub-4 hour Marathon this year
  • Qualify for the Boston Marathon

How to set a running goal

Which Running Goal is the BEST one for YOU?

Decide what’s important to you. If you’re not sure ask yourself a few questions to identify your goal.

  • “What’s your MAIN goal for the year?”…
  • “Where do you want to be in December 2021?”…
  • “What do you want to accomplish and why is it important?”
  • “Do you want to focus on health and fitness?”
  • “Do you want set a running related new year’s resolution?”
  • “Do you want to run a certain race distance or time?”

No matter what your goal is – make it a SMART Goal.

A SMART Goal will help you accomplish it because you will be able to name your goal, decide how you’re going to measure progress and give yourself a deadline.

Question: Did you set a running related goal for 2021? What is it?

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