Do You Have Too Many Goals? (New Video)

by Jason Fitzgerald

Why are you running?

It’s a simple question. But sometimes we have no idea how to answer it.

too many goals

Every runner has different goals:

  • Train for a 5k
  • qualify for Boston
  • lose weight
  • run your first marathon
  • be more consistent with fewer injuries

And no matter why you’re running, you’re a runner. Anybody who says differently is just wrong.

In a fantastic article by Olympian Andrew Lemoncello, he confronts the question are you a real runner? His answer:

It doesn’t matter if you run four-minute miles or 15-minute miles. It doesn’t matter if you walk/jog to get your dose of exercise in. You can confidently call yourself a runner.

Running goals are all different – and they’re all important.

The real question is do you have too many?

Don’t Spread Yourself too Thin!

Running is so rewarding for me because it’s objective: numbers don’t lie. You can measure distance, pace, step rate, overall time, split progressions, heart rate, and a host of other metrics.

Yes, I am a geek.

If you’re smart, you can improve some of these metrics. That’s what running faster and being able to run longer is all about.

But what happens when you try to accomplish too much?

Recently Simon emailed me with a great question:

I do a lot of exercising, seriously lifting 3 times a week, Muay Thai 3-5 times a week and I’m getting ready to add a weekly ruck march. I’ve always just tagged on 2-3 runs a week where I could fit them in – 2-6 miles with no real plan.

My question is, can I make smart progress on 2 or 3 runs a week?

I recorded a new video in the studio (ok, my living room) and answered Simon’s question.

Remember these three principles when you’re trying to make progress as a runner:

  • Determine goal #1 – and then train for that specifically
  • More than two goals (especially if they’re at odds like distance running and lifting) is counter-productive
  • Forward progress is difficult on just 2-3 runs a week – try to run at least 4 times a week for any running goal

As a runner you can have several goals at once but it’s helpful to have a Priority Goal with the other goals as sub-goals.

Here’s an example: my goal is to run a marathon PR in 2014. To do that, I have several other goals like run 1-2 personal bests in shorter distances this fall, set a monthly and annual mileage best in the process, and have the best marathon cycle possible next year.

Every aspect of training is connected. Approach each systematically and you’ll run a helluva lot faster. –> Click here to tweet that!

My Question for You

What is your #1 running goal?

And what sub-goals are you using to help you accomplish that goal?

Leave your response in the comments and I’ll reply with my ideas on your training.

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