Beyond creating SMART goals, there’s, even more, you can do to stick to your plan for progress. Try these five tips to see you through to the finish.
1. Make a Commitment
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step—and the journey of your running goal begins with commitment. Consider what SMART goal you’re reaching for and commit to it (sharing it with friends or Strava buddies can help keep you more accountable.)
2. Focus on Small Steps
As the saying goes…small steps add up to big accomplishments—it’s true, both metaphorically and literally in this case. Focussing on smaller sub-goals early in the pursuit of a larger achievement can enhance your motivation and visualise the bigger picture.
As you journey toward your running goal, try breaking it down into doable chunks. If you’re working toward a specific distance like a 10K, try a training plan that slowly increases your distance from 2 miles in week one, 2.5 miles in week two, and so on. Then, when race day nears, shift your focus to how you’ll conquer the full distance.
3. Prevent Injuries
When you have a goal in mind, it’s understandable to want to give it all you’ve got. But pushing yourself too hard isn’t a great idea. To reach your running goals in good health, it’s important to take the right precautions to prevent injury.
Try using best practices such as stretching before and after runs, running in the right shoes, hydrating appropriately, and sticking to your rest days. Don’t forget, if you’re running solo, make sure always telling someone when and where you’re running.
4. Track Your Progress
Without keeping track of your progress, it’s hard to know how far off you are from reaching your goals. There are lots of tools to help monitor your distance, speed, heart rate and more, all you need to do is find the app that suits your needs and start tracking your activity. By seeing your progress, it can be very rewarding and encourage you to keep going strong.
5. Reward Yourself
We’re all motivated by rewards. For your biggest milestone, plan to celebrate your success with a little something special. Try treating yourself immediately after you achieve your goal, to make it feel that extra rewarding.