July 25, 2015

Running Goals

By Marek

Running Goals – Have You Set Yours?

I’ve been running for some time now. Now and then, I set myself some sort of a goal. Sometimes I hit it, other times I don’t. Usually these are time goals set for a specific race. But I’ve never set myself specific short and long term goals related to my running. Alright, so I have started running to gain more energy – this was my main objective, a goal in itself. With time, however, I have set myself more running challenges – running goals to strive towards. Not that my initial goal has taken second place. It is still the key reason I go out for a run – to be more energised. running goalsIt is good though, to have challenges – they help us grow! Without growth, there is no progress, without progress, there is no drive. It is high time now, to set short and long term running goals, which I can strive to achieve, to push me forwards and help me develop. Most importantly, to keep me going everyday!

So What Are My Running Goals?

Tony Robbins likes to say, that we tend to overestimate what we can accomplish in a year, and underestimate what we can achieve in 10 years. Being 38, I can safely say, that in 10 years time, I can probably expect to be at the peak of my running career. It is not to say that in my mid fifties I cannot accomplish more but it would require more effort. Hence, any lifetime goals I will set, I am looking to realise them within 10 years (especially any time related goals).

Let’s start with the short distances:

1 km

My short term goal (1 year) is to set a time at 3m20s. Currently, my top 1 km is set at 3m35s, which I have done over a year ago. I am confident I can achieve this goal, just need to do some interval training and get a good warmup run before I attempt it. Currently, I can run 5km, with each kilometre under 4 minutes, so 1 km, with a little push, should be achievable. My long term running goal for 1 km however is 3 minutes – this is my lifetime goal! It is nearly 50% slower than the current World Record but I am not a professional. Coming this close will be a feat in itself from my point of view, especially, since I am more of a long distance runner!

1 mile

I know I cannot keep the same pace over a mile as I can over a kilometre. As a lifetime running goal, I want to hit a 5 minute mile. Scott Jurek, an ultra running legend would hit these speeds near the end of 100 mile races when needed. The time is an amazing feat and I think it will take me longer to reach it than the 1 km goal. In a short term, 5m45s mile is what I wish to achieve. running goalsCurrently, my best was 6m3s – again, set over a year ago.

5 km

This closes off the short distance goals. I have not run in a competitive 5 km and am not looking to run one anytime soon. All these short distance records are set in training and regular runs. My best 5 km has been set during a ParkRun, which I take rather seriously and I believe my future records at this distance will come at Park Runs! Currently, my best 5 km has been run at 19m38s only a month ago. This is the distance over which I have made the most improvement. My short term running goal for a 5 km is 18m30s. As a lifetime running goal, I was thinking of setting my target at 16m30s but then I looked at many competitive runs and even World Records from the late 19th century and I think to be more realistic, I will set it at 17 minutes.

To recap my short distance running goals:

Distance 1 year running goal Lifetime running goal
1 km 3:20 3:00
1 mile 5:45 5:00
5 km 18:30 17:00

Mid distance running goals:

10 km

I know this distance is classed as a long distance, however, anything short of a marathon, I do not class as a long distance. How about my running goal for a 10 km run? Well, a 10k is the shortest distance I ran competitively in to this point. My best time was 41m46s which was just under a year ago. I was hoping to top this recently at the British 10k, however, it is not possible to do great times at huge events, where there are several thousand runners lined up ahead of you. My best time was set at a smaller local event, which had quite a bit of an incline, so when it comes to setting my lifetime best, I will need to find a flat race or possibly a track! Lifetime running goal for a 10 km distance – 36 minutes. Within the year, I will want to break 40 minutes!

running goals
Half Marathon

My first race and probably a distance I feel most comfortable with. Although I regularly run 10 km plus, I pretty much can go out any day and run a half marathon without any preparation. Not at top speed that is, but comfortably within 2 hours. My first half marathon took me 2h14m! I do not want the Half Marathon to be my trademark distance but so far, this is the distance in which I have run the most races. My best time to date was 1h36m35s, which I have set a month ago during a 31 km run. My short term running goal for a Half Marathon is 1h30m and my lifetime running goal for this distance is 1h20m.

Marathons and Utras

I have only run the marathon distance or greater on 3 occasions so far. 50k ultraThese are the distances that I want to explore more of. It would be difficult for me to set any time related goals for distances I have not run yet, that is, anything longer than 50 km. At this moment, I will set my goals for a marathon and a 50k and hope to expand on the ultra distances in the near future.
My current marathon best is 3h45m40s run during a 50k. Within a year, my running goal for the marathon is 3h30m. Hopefully, I will get a chance to set this time at the Paris or London Marathon next spring. My lifetime running goal for a marathon is 2h48m. This is a time I read somewhere was at one point the cut off time to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Currently, for my age group, the time is much greater, however, this goal has stuck in my mind and I wish one day to achieve it.
My running goals for distances greater than the marathon distance will not be as ambitious, as I want to focus more on the distance rather than the time. Currently, my 50k best is 4h45m22s, I wish to beat 4h30m for this distance in the short term. My lifetime running goal for a 50k is 3h45m!

It will be interesting to come back to these running goals in a year’s time and review them. Hopefully by then, I will be able to add some greater distance goals and times for them. I wanted to also add some races here in which I would like to participate in but I think I will need to add a new post with my race bucket list! If you are running and enjoy an extra challenge, or maybe sometimes lack drive, take a few moments, sit back, and list your running goals. It will help you focus and give you that extra push every time you go out for the run, especially on those days that you are struggling to get out.

Once again, the recap of my running goals:

Distance 1 year running goal Lifetime running goal
1 km 3:20 3:00
1 mile 5:45 5:00
5 km 18:30 17:00
10 km 40:00 36:00
Half Marathon 1:30:00 1:20:00
Marathon 3:30:00 2:48:00
50 km 4:30:00 3:45:00

Make your goals achievable but at the same time, challenging. It would be great if you could share your running goals here with others!