As a new year dawns upon us it’s an opportune time to review the year that was and look ahead to new running goals for the new year.
When reviewing a running year it can be as brief or involved as you like but should focus on a few simple measurements;
- Did you achieve the goals you set yourself?
If so, what worked well in training and racing that you should continue to do?
If not, what stopped you from achieving your goals?
- Did you lower your personal bests for any distances you ran?
- What aspects of your running did you enjoy and not enjoy?
The answers to these questions will give you the framework for your running plans for the New Year.
When setting running goals it is advantageous to look further than just race goals. Races will come and go and milestone performances can be achieved along the way. However, hopefully your running journey has no start or end point. Avoid simply setting goals around races, use each race as a yardstick for your overall running journey and a measurement of your improvement.
After you’ve reviewed your running you will certainly find things that worked well. These may include;
- Set new personal bests in a number of distances
- Stayed injury free for the entire year
- Was able to reach a mileage goal for x amount of months or the entire year
Each of your milestones achieved will point to processes along the way that you committed to that worked well and these you should continue to commit to.
On the flip side you may have not achieved some running goals. If you didn’t improve any of your running results and feel you committed and were disciplined in your training then it may be a time to pivot and adjust your training. First ask yourself if you really committed to the training and were disciplined in your processes, you’ll know if you weren’t. The New Year goal could be simply committing to your training further and being disciplined to achieve.
If you had trouble committing to your training is there other aspects in life that made this difficult. If this is the case an adjustment in your expectations may be necessary. Potentially it’s time to reach out to a coach that can give you a structured approach that can fit the best possible training into the schedule you have available.
When looking at running goals for the new year they should fall into a few categories;
- Race Goals
You don’t have to have the whole year mapped out but think at least quarter year at a time of races you want to run and goals for these.
Races give you a reason to train and test yourself. Races should challenge you with a time conscious goal of preparing yourself for the race. Your race result is the measurement of success over a period of training.
- Training Goals
These can be varied and again it may be valuable for a coach to help structure these with you.
Mileage is important and having regular mileage goals are beneficial to keep you on track. It is not necessarily a matter of always increasing mileage but hitting achievable mileage goals and being able to maintain these with some consistency is very valuable.
Varied training that works different muscles and energy systems is also important. Goal could be to commit to weekly hill, interval and long run that builds strength, speed and endurance. These are the most valuable training runs in a runner’s toolbox.
- Running satisfaction goals
Is your training, racing and running goals keeping you happy, motivated and enjoying your running. If you aren’t motivated to get out the door and run then something isn’t working. Remember it’s supposed to be fun, make sure you get exactly what you need personally from your running.
Whatever you hope to achieve running in the new year best of luck achieving these goals. Above all else enjoy your running.