Sunday, June 16, 2013

Program Building: Goals are the Bridge

For all but the most self-satisfied among us, there is a gap between where we are and where we want to be. Goals can help us to bridge that gap. I'll offer a couple of my running goals as examples in the hope that they may help you to set your own.

Remember the steps that led me here.

  • Know who you are: I'm a runner whose mental health plan includes regular workouts, whose age and condition requires frequent recovery days, and whose tendency toward over-training can lead me to wear myself down.
  • Know why you're running: I love the peaceful feeling I get when I'm running, no matter how tough the hills or how much my body hurts. I love the way my leg muscles feel when I flex them. I love the solitude of running, but I also enjoy the company of runners. I love the feeling that I keep getting better. Running makes me feel more alive.
It's pretty clear that my running isn't about competing. I'm not really thinking about winning when I run. There aren't that many people I can keep up with, let alone beat in a race. My goals are much more internal. I want to be faster. I want to be stronger. I want to run long distances without hurting myself. I want to keep doing things I've never done before. I've set three goals for 2013, with all that in mind.
  • Run a sub 60 minute 10K
  • Finish two marathons in under 6 hours
  • Log 1000 training miles
Each of these is pretty ambitious for me. Each meets the SMART goal criteria. And they are just far enough out of my comfort zone to be a little scary. Reaching them is going to require me to make a serious commitment to running for the next 6 1/2 months. My program is what that commitment looks like in practical form. The details of that program will be the subject of our next episode. 'Till then:

Sleep well. Eat clean. Lift heavy. Run hard.


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