Your Running Goal
Setting Goals – Before putting pen to paper to write a training program, you must firstly have a running goal. Without a goal you will be training aimlessly. Goal setting is very important and becomes the objective during the preparation of your training program. The goal should be short-term e.g. if you have entered a particular race such as a marathon your goal should be the desired finishing time. The young track stars may set their seasonal goal to achieve the CARFITA qualifying standard by February.
Your running goal must be realistic and you must be prepared to review your goal as you progress through the training program. If you have 12 weeks and only prepared to train twice each week, then you have only 24 training sessions; is this enough to achieve your goal? If however you are able to train 5 days per week, then you have 60 training sessions and you can set your goal and prepare your training program accordingly.
To achieve your goals, you must:
- be committed and be prepared to dedicate sufficient time to training. No feeble excuses to miss sessions.
- be consistent and train each week – don’t think you can take days off and make them back next week; you wont be able to.
- set up a training program in such a way that it gradually, yet progressively, builds your fitness to achieve your running goal
The training program should include specific targets to achieve at periodic intervals to see if you are on schedule to achieve your goal. For example, if your goal is to complete a half marathon race in 1 hour 30 minutes, then your average pace will be 6:52 minutes per mile. Perhaps one target will be including some time-trials that are shorter distances but ran a little quicker than race pace. There may be other races on the calendar that you can enter to test see how you feel running at race pace. Depending how you feel and how much time you have left to achieve the goal, you may decide to adjust it up or down to keep it realistic.