One Foot in Front of the Other – Run Confidently into 2023!
Did you know that humans have been setting New Year’s resolutions for 4,000 years?! According to the History Channel, these celebrations date back to various cultures and festivals around the world. You can read more about the origins of New Year’s resolutions HERE.
Today, our resolutions look a lot different than they did 4,000 years ago, but the overall purpose is similar. It is a time to reflect on the past year and close any necessary chapters. It is also a time to reset, and bring positivity and new goals with us into another year ahead. That said, it is no secret that many people (maybe yourself included) feel new year’s resolutions or goal-setting is over-hyped, mainly because it can put a lot of pressure on us. While that CAN be true, it is often because the goals are set with no plan or realistic way to attain them. The goal of this article is to set you up for success by setting goals that are realistic and achievable in your lifestyle. In the process, we might even change your opinion on new year goal-setting overall!
As runners, many of your goals may be around running! Whether it is to PR your next big race, hit a certain number of miles throughout the year, improve your conversation pace, or hit any other major milestones, the number one step is to define the goal.
- Defining the goal is more than just saying “I want to PR my next half marathon”. This is a good start, but to make it even better, we need to make it SMART. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. In the PR example above, we will break down ways to make it SMART:
- Specific: I want to PR my next half marathon (this is defining the what)
- Measurable: I want to run a 2-hour half marathon (time is the measurement)
- Attainable: Based on my previous time, I only need to shave off 4-minutes overall which is less than 30 seconds per mile – this is attainable, and I am willing to put in the work required to achieve this.
- Relevant: I am still passionate about running, therefore it is relevant to my goals!
- Timely: Set a date – I want to achieve this at the Towne Lake Half in March.
- UPDATED SMART GOAL = I want to run a 2-hour half marathon at Towne Lake in March.
Now that we have a SMART and specific goal, the next step is to create an action plan. This doesn’t need to be fully defined at the time of setting the goal, and the action plan could change throughout the course of the training cycle, however, an overall idea of how this goal will be achieved is necessary to set yourself up for success. This step is often the missing link in why new year goals and resolutions are unattainable.
- Action Plan PRO TIPS – break down the goal into smaller action items. In the example of running a 2-hour marathon, an outline could look like the following:
- Determine which training plan you will follow and whether you will work with a coach. Set aside time to research and invest in the plan.
- Add your training to your calendar week by week so that you know what your workouts will look like each day.
- Determine if you will sign up for any races before the half-marathon, like a 5K or 10K, to help you prepare. If so, identify which races and add them to your calendar.
- Plan your entire year of running. If your half marathon was scheduled for later in the year, think about how long of a training cycle you will need and if you can do any other practice half marathons before that.
Finally, give yourself grace! You have a plan, you know you can achieve it, but be willing to adjust the plan as you go. Life happens – so if you need to pick another race or if you don’t hit the PR the first time, try again! Make a new plan, choose another race, and adjust. Enjoy the journey – running should be fun, and the journey is a learning process that makes us stronger runners (and humans overall!)
We hope this helps you in setting up your next year of running. Cheers to a 2023 filled with health, happiness, and PR’s!