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Goal Setting Motivates Your Training Success

A very smart person once said that a goal not written down is just a mere wish. I passionately believe this is true and have proven the power behind written goals in many aspects of my personal and professional life.

In fact, one year I was planning on running the Sacramento Marathon, but fell in a pothole and broke my foot just a few months before the race! The fact that my foot was broken did not deter me from trying to reach my goal (Yes, I am that stubborn). I cross-trained; swimming and biking for hours, trying to keep my cardio fitness intact, just so I could indeed run this planned marathon. It was the week before the race when my husband interjected just a little common sense (please don't tell him I said he was right) and he asked me why I was so hell bent on running Sacramento? There were so many other races on the schedule and I had only recovered from my stress fracture 3 weeks prior and done a long run of only 16 miles. I really did not have any good reasons to tell him except for the fact that I had written it down as a goal almost 6 months prior and I was determined to reach that goal.

Common sense intervened (maybe I'm not that stubborn after all) and instead I did my first triathlon, all that biking and swimming was good triathlon training, then I picked a marathon 2 months later that I could run after adequate training. Goals are a powerful thing. Running goals can take on a life of their own and guide our training.

I challenge all of you to do a goal writing exercise to determine where running fits in your life. Think about lifetime goals; perhaps qualifying for Boston or just to finish an entire marathon; then break down your goals into smaller segments. Try to ascertain how you will reach that lifetime goal by achieving smaller goals; write down your 5 year goals, your 3 year goals, your 1 year goals, and finally your immediate goals. It is hard to run a marathon without starting a running program, perhaps training for your first 5K can be your quarterly goal, then a 10 or 15K for 1 year goal, then build up to the marathon or a faster marathon from their. Again, looking at lifetime goals by themselves is often overwhelming; but broken down into smaller increments become very doable!

1. Lifetime Goal:
2. 5 Year Goal:
3. 3 Year Goal:
4. 1 Year Goal:
5. Next Quarter's Goal:
6. This Week's Goal:

Look at your goals then start a reasonable plan to meet them! Not only are you more likely to meet your goals if you write them down, but you are also less likely to get injured if you follow a plan.