Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Goal setting: Marathon Goals

As fall marathon training season has begun, it's a good time to talk goals. Setting goals at the beginning of training gives me the full training cycle to work towards them. I think it's gives me the best shot for achieving them.  If things come up (injuries, life commitments, etc.) I can always readjust them later.  No shame in that.
The excited hum at the starting line.
In the past I have been hesitant about being bold and blunt about race goals because of the fear not reaching those goals will be seen as failure.  It took me a while to realize it's not.  Wanting something and not even trying for it is a failure.  Attempting something is not. You are still putting yourself out there.  You are still running the race.  Not reaching your goals just means things didn't go perfectly.  Stuff happens during races.  People are human. Regroup and try again.

Being honest and realistic with goal setting is important.  I'm not setting the goal of winning the race, because there is no way that is happening, unless I am the only running.  Likewise, just finishing isn't my goal because I have done that before and completed that goal.  I find goals are most useful when they are obtainable yet challenging, building on experiences and skill you already have.
An actual shirt I own care of my awesome friends.

I'm not going to be bashful. I'm aiming for a PR in my upcoming marathon and to break 4 hours. I started doing speed work this spring and continue to struggle with the world of fueling (always my Achilles heal), but I'm ready and excited to train. 

Do you make your race goals public? How do you celebrate achieving your goals?  What do you do when you don't?


  1. I totally make my goals public and admit when I miss them. We are all human.
    My next marathon -
    goal = sub 4:45
    crazy dream = sub 4:30
    and to finish before my Garmin dies. It died at 25.9 last time.

    1. Great goals! So sad that your garmin quit with only 0.3 to go! Obviously it didn't have a goal of finishing!

    2. The funny thing is it said 25.9 when I had just hit the 25 mile marker. Obviously I must not have run the most direct route or the course might have been a bit long. I'd be curious, if it didn't die, to see what it would have said when I crossed the finish.

  2. I think making race goals public can make you more accountable. Good luck with these.
    And you should still consider the Shipyard Half. A different weather day would have been a very different story.

    1. Thanks. I will definitely keep it on the list.

  3. I always would keep my goals to myself but took a leap of faith last year and started to make it public. It's made a huge difference in holding myself accountable and giving an extra push to make it happen. Good luck!

  4. My next marathon goal is 3:55 for a BQ. Wishing you the best on the PR!


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