The Importance of Setting Running Goals for Motivation

Setting goals in any aspect of life is very important in keeping us motivated to achieve them. Running goals are no different, except you are investing in your own personal health and well-being. Setting running goals for beginners is just as important as for avid runners. Read on to learn more about setting your own goals.

Benefits of Setting Goals in Running

Having a goal or objective in mind is one of the best ways to ensure motivation. We all have our days when we would rather just spend an extra hour in bed instead of pounding the pavement. However, when you have a specific running goal in mind, your motivation to achieve it is much higher.

Perhaps you’ve set a goal to run a mile a day for the next month. The feeling of achievement from completing your mile each day is much better than the disappointment in yourself that you might get when you don’t. Some other important benefits of setting goals in running include:

  • Improved self-esteem It simply feels good to do what you say you will do.
  • Improved focus and direction When you have a goal, you know exactly what you are trying to accomplish.
  • Better performance Practice makes perfect, right? Having a goal requires practice nearly everyday, and your running skills can only improve from regular practice.
  • Improved Prioritizing, Decision-making, Time management When your goal is at stake, you are forced to determine what is most important and what can wait. This means you will better manage your time to ensure you can get your run in to reach your goal.

Types of Running Goals

What type of goal you set with your running strongly depends on your experience level. Diving head-first into anything new is a recipe for disaster, and in the case of running, injury. While we stress the importance of setting a running goal, it is also important to set a reasonable goal.

Running Goals for Beginners

Beginner goals will look much different from an experienced runner’s goal and that is okay. One of our favorite goals for those new to running or those who have taken time off is the Couch to 5K plan. The original Couch to 5K plan is a nine-week plan in which newbies train to run a 5K, or 3.1 miles, by the end.

Other couch to 5K, or C25K for short, trainings offer six- or 12-week plans, giving you some flexibility. We like this plan because anyone can do it. The different C25K plans all use interval training to introduce you to running. Each day’s training is laid out for you, so you know exactly what to do.

Obviously, when you’ve made it to the end of your Couch to 5K program, you will (hopefully) want to compete in one. This is the perfect opportunity to sign up for a virtual event like this Anything is Paw-sible Virtual 5K, benefitting dog shelters, and adoptions. The best part is that you get to compete on your own time, on your own turf, and when you are ready.

Goals for Intermediate or Advanced Runners

Maybe you’re no stranger to running, but it’s become a bit mundane. (We know! We don’t understand it, either!) Don’t worry! There are loads of virtual running challenges in which to participate. Check out these Stars and Stripes 13-Mile and 50-Mile running challenges.

The flexibility is undeniably the best part of these virtual running challenges. You get to choose where, how, and when you run. There are no super early morning corrals or desperately hoping you can hold off using the facilities until after your race. Even better is that all of the proceeds from running challenges from The Virtual Run Challenge goes to support deserving charities.

More advanced or ultra-runners might enjoy taking on longer running challenges like the Runner Mania Virtual Running Festival. There is an option to sign up for a virtual run where you see how many miles you can complete within a 24-hour period. This type of challenge can truly push you to your boundaries and beyond. It may not feel great at the time, but in the end, you will be amazed at your accomplishment.

Achieving Your Goals in Running

No matter how much you run now, setting and working toward goals in running can only benefit you. Running is an excellent cardio workout that is safe for most people to do. Other benefits of running include lowering your risk for certain diseases, relieving stress, and depression and it helps you to maintain an ideal weight.

Virtual running events are a great way to participate in the world of racing without fully putting yourself out there. You get to run when and where it suits you best, and that is hardly ever possible with an in-person race.

Whether you are an experienced runner or just starting out, we encourage you to set a goal for yourself like completing a Virtual Run Challenge. This can ensure you keep the motivation to run each day. Since both setting goals and running offer so many benefits, you simply cannot lose by signing up.

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