Been there, done that, got the tech fabric T-shirt? If your running goals need a refresh, read on for great ideas to get pumped about reaching a new goal!
1. Plan Your Running Year
Part retail therapy, part dreaming big, I love to browse upcoming races on Running In The USA and register for one big goal race for the year. Once that race is pinned down, not only can I start visualizing how cool it will be to accomplish it, but I can also get out the calendar and plan the training to build mileage for that race. When you know about where your mileage will be during the months leading up to the big one, you can pick out more fun races to look forward to along the way!
2. Make it Meaningful: Do it For Charity
There are great programs out there that allow you to benefit a charity with your training. Think about joining Team In Training, Girls On The Run Solemates, or another program that helps a cause you care about.
Most races you can enter benefit a great cause, from the little grassroots race on a shoestring budget that’s centered around raising funds to the bigger for-profit event production companies that donate a portion of their profits to a charity. When you sign up for that race, check the charity partner page to see how you can go beyond your signup dollars to help the cause.
On the easier end of the spectrum, you can use a simple app on your phone like Charity Miles, which gives money to the cause you choose from a list at the beginning of each run. (It’s free. They partner with companies that donate real dollars based on your mileage.)
3. Get Your Friends Involved
Share the excitement, encourage each other and celebrate your successes! Exercising with a buddy (or two) can spur your motivation, increase your energy, and add a big bump to your fun. Your friends not up to the challenge? Join a training group! A good training group is worth every dollar, as they provide a training plan, marked routes, snax, support from experienced runners, and all-important high fives.
4. Go Streaking
We’re not talking nudity here*. A running streak challenges you to run for many days in a row. Can you commit to running at least a mile per day, for 30 days? Busting the excuse that you don’t have enough time, this running goal challenge will have you finding time in places where you didn’t think you had any. Later in the challenge, as your consecutive days count gets higher, there’s even more incentive to keep the streak going. Some people even turn it into a way of life, and never stop the streak!
LONGEST STREAK: Ron Hill has streaked for over 50 years, logging at least one mile every day since 1964.
5. Join a Distance Challenge
These challenges are hugely popular right now. Want to run 1,000 miles in a year? There’s a medal for that. Try to reach 2,016 miles in 2016? YES! How about challenging yourself to run 100 miles in a month, or run 100 days out of this year? Groups like ilovetorun and Run The Edge offer medals, bibs, tracking systems, and support from other participants like you, who want to crush a new goal.
6. Boost Your Speed
Whether your current average is 6 minutes per mile or 16, speed training can help you go for the gold! Check into some tips and strategies to help you run faster. Dig into speed training, then sign up for a race, and give yourself an exciting (but achievable) time goal! Want to run a 5K in under 30 minutes? Under 20 minutes? Set that new running goal and see if you can set yourself a new Personal Record!
7. Set Your Sights on a New Type of Race
Have you ever tried a Triathlon or a Duathlon? How about a Mud Run? Try out a Relay Race with a team of awesome peeps just like you! If you run mostly on roads, consider getting your ankles dirty with some beautiful trail runs! If you’re already a marathon runner, give some thought to the new challenge of an Ultra!
Are you working toward a running goal? Big or small, let us know in the comments!