My Big Three Goals for 2018 and How I hope to Hit Them
2018 is firmly here, and often the turning of the calendar brings with it a sort of irresistible desire to set goals and use this time of year to dream about the future. When it comes to running, often this means getting faster, more consistent, or a whole host of other things.
Before sharing my goals for this year, I want to offer a reminder of some things I’ve shared in the past about goal setting.
A Reminder about Setting Goals
In the book, Smarter, Faster, Better, author Charles Duhigg has three things I think are helpful when it comes to setting goals:
- If we rush into setting goals, we may not make the best decision because our minds want closure. If we take some time to really sit, study, and examine which goals we’re setting (and why), we will make better goals.
- Set audacious, stretch, lofty goals! It doesn’t do you much good to set goals that are easily achievable, or have an easy, simple path. “Finish a marathon” might seem like a big goal, but honestly, people do it all the time. “Finish a marathon in 4 hrs” when your previous time was 5 hrs, is pretty audacious. It forces you to get creative and try to figure out how the heck you’re going to do it.
- SMART goals are great, but they only work when they force you to reach beyond what you’re currently capable of. Duhigg in his books cites research that says, “experiments have shown that people with SMART goals are more likely to seize on the easiest tasks, to become obsessed with finishing projects, and to freeze on priorities once a goals has been set.” Crossing things off a list is more important that asking yourself if you’re doing the right things.” He found that when you set big stretch goals, you tend to focus more on the right things.
My 2018 Goals
I spent more time than usual thinking about my goals this year. I’m not completely sure how I’m going to accomplish them all, but I have gotten super focused on what I want to achieve.
I’ve broken my goals into three categories: work, workout, and personal. Below, I want to share my workout/running goals, as they are the most relevant to what we do here at Minneapolis Running (although Motivating Minnesotans to become stronger runners while living happier lives, certainly applies to things from all three of those categories).
Here are my three 2018 “workout” goals:
1. Run 2,018 miles in 2018!
WHY: There’s part of this goal that is simply about the daily discipline of lacing up the running shoes and getting out the door. Towards the end of last year, I felt aimless, and without a clear direction for why I wanted to run. Something very specific like this also helps with my second goal.
HOW: This can happen in all sorts of ways. 2018 miles in a year comes out to 38.8 miles per week, or 5.5 miles per day. I love this goals because it’s highly measurable, and provides daily, weekly, and monthly progress. Currently my plan is to run 6 miles, 5 times a week, and then a 10 mile long run.
2. Set B.Q. Equivalent Race Times
WHY: As some of you know, I’ve been trying to get into the Boston Marathon since 2014. After five attempts in four years, I need a break. Also, with the arrival of our fourth child in June of 2018, I don’t think I have it in me to try again (at least not now).
As an alternative, I figured out (using this vDot Calculator), that my equivalent race times (for a 39-year-old male) are:
- 5k – 19:52
- 10k – 41:12
- Half – 1:31:30
This will be a good way to challenge myself while staying sharp for a future B.Q. attempt.
HOW: I need to do two things right away. 1.) Identify a key race at each distance and 2.) find training plans (either self created or work with a coach) that will hit those times.
3. Gain 5 lbs of Muscle
WHY: I turn 40 in February of 2019. As we know, aging take a toll on the body, and loss of muscle is one of the first things to go. This leads to a decrease in bone density, loss of functional capacity, lowers endocrine and immune function and some other bad stuff.
I don’t want that to be me!
I also think some of my best days as a runner are still ahead, and working on strength is a great way to ensure that happens. Being specific about the 5 lbs of muscle seems like a good way to measure this (if a bit arbitrary).
HOW: Last week, I meet with a physical therapist who is also a strength coach, who is also a running coach, who is also a former standout collegiate runner. In other words, he knows how to bring all of these things together for a runner. We had an initial consult, and he put together a two week strength plan for me. I don’t have much to report yet, other than it involves 2 – 3 days of lifting with weights, in specific areas for me.
Do you have this year? Are they specific and measurable? I’d love to hear what they are! Share in the comments and we can help encourage each other as we pursue them.