26.2 miles move over, it's all about smaller goals - Women's Running

26.2 move over – set small running goals

Author: Chris Macdonald

Read Time:   |  October 16, 2014

Charlie Watson blogger

Charlie Watson: 26.2 move over – set small goals for motivation

I’m a very all or nothing person. I signed up for my first ever run back in 2011, starting with the biggest race I could find, the London Marathon. Never mind that I couldn’t run a mile. I set myself the challenge of completing the marathon, and I did (albeit a year late due to injury). Since then I’ve not stopped running, however I still set small running goals to ensure I keep working towards them. Whether it’s just a 5K, a 10K with friends or to try and set a new PB in a marathon, without constantly adjusting my goals, I know that I would find it hard to stay motivated. If I don’t have a training plan, or at least something to tick off, it’s much easier to hit snooze instead of lacing up my trainers. However, there can’t always be a big marathon on the horizon (although in this case I have signed myself up for number four – Berlin in September). With that in mind I’ve started setting myself small monthly goals. Charlie Watson goal setting for runners These are achievable aims that I can work towards throughout the month, taking time to reassess how I get on at the end of the month, and, because I’ve published them for the world to see it’s harder (and more embarrassing) if I don’t at least try to realize them. My current goals involve a lot of work towards my training for the Blenheim Palace triathlon in June. It’ll be my first triathlon, and aside from not breaking my nose through a kick in the face during the swim and my number one goal for every race that is not to poo myself – I have no time expectations at all. I’m pretty new to swimming and cycling, so just to complete the course is big enough motivation to get me out of bed most days. When it comes to setting your own goals, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Your goal can’t be so big that it’s unachievable – but it needs to be scary enough for you to get your backside in gear
  • Don’t do too much, too soon
  • Tell people about your goals, it makes them feel involved
  • It has to be fun, and something you want to do, not just what someone else is doing or thinks you should do

I’ll be posting my goals each month, as well as updating how I’m getting on with both the short term goals (cycling to work) and long, long term goals (qualifying for the Boston Marathon, eventually) on my blog www.therunnerbeans.co.uk

Charlotte Watson is ‘a marathon runner, fitness junkie, adventurer and gin drinker’ and blogs at www.therunnerbeans.co.uk  She can be found tweeting at @charliedwatson

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Chris Macdonald

Editor-at-Large, Women's Running

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