So, you're new to running and you're trying to figure out what kind of goals should I have? Should I have goals? Well, I'm Jesse Funk and on today's episode of Runner's High, I'm going to help you figure out how to set great goals as a beginning runner.
Before we get going, because you're beginning running, you've probably not spent time with me here on this channel. Hit that subscribe button where I make all kinds of videos about running, any kind of topic you can think of, I probably made a video or I'm going to make a video. I also interview experts in different fields on the Smart Athlete Podcast all found here on this channel. So, hit subscribe, stay tuned for more videos in the future.
Now, when we talk about setting goals, there are things that come to mind when you say why I want to get faster, I want to lose weight, or these kind of ideas that we think about. And we have these good intentions when we come up with these goals, but they're really bad goals. It doesn't matter whether you're a beginning runner or a seasoned veteran, they're terrible goals. It doesn't even really matter if you're running. If you set goals like that, they're bad goals. But let me tell you why.
The thing with goals like that is that you can't ever know when you've reached them. You don't know when you finally met the goal because there's nothing measurable about it. And that's a big thing. If you're in the business space, in the entrepreneur space, maybe even seen this, just because they're so big. Google has this thing about what gets measured gets achieved.
And that's how they have KPIs, key performance indicators. This is something that's across the corporate world, so you may even experience it in your job. But the thing is, with that, there's a specific, measurable goal. And it is something that can be attained. So, you have to do the same thing with your goals. As a runner. Even if you're a beginner. If you set yourself up for success, it's going to be with something that is measurable.
More so than that, though, you have to use a system. That is something that my coach still preaches to me, when we're setting up goals for our season trying to figure out and that's SMART goals. This is an acronym, where your goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely.
So, the idea of SMART goals is breaking down this kind of idea of a measurable goal into more specific components. It has to be specific. So, if you just say, “Oh, I want to be faster.” Well, what does that mean? You know, you want to be faster at what, in general? Okay. But that's not measurable, is it?
So, a specific goal would say, I want to have a faster 5K time. That’s specific, specific to a 5K. So, I can measure it. And then setting a realistic goal. Is it achievable? Is it realistic? Those kind of go together. You have to set a benchmark, right? Run a 5K? You know, what's your time?
Now, if you went 30 minutes in your 5K, and you say I really want to be under 20 minutes. Well, what time frame are we talking about here? Is it realistic for you to be able to go under 20 minutes? Can that be done, 30 to 20? Yes, it can be done.
But as a coach will often say and I will often say to you here on this channel, it depends. It depends. It depends on the time, it depends on you, it depends on your running background, the time you have to devote to it, your nutrition, all kinds of things. Can it be done? Yes. But that's the thing where you have to take your specific situation into mind and think about, hey, is this realistic and achievable for me?
So, if you ran 30 minutes, and you say in six months, what I think is achievable; 25, maybe 27. Possibly. If you're a beginning runner, like this video’s the dressing you, then these things are possible if you're really just starting out, you want to go 30 and then you're increasing mileage spending more time training, it is certainly possible to go under those goals. But as like I mentioned before, it depends.
So, when you take that idea, that idea of SMART goals into account, specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely, they have to be time bound. Then you're setting good goals as a beginning runner, and as a veteran as you continue throughout this. You can take these goals, this kind of goal setting with SMART goals and use this as anywhere you want to choose something.
It has nothing to do with running specifically. But it is easy in this context because we have times, we have things we can measure, we can be specific, all of these kinds of things. You can take it into account with financial planning, if you want to do that and say, Well, I want to retire by the age of 55. Okay, that's specific. Is it measurable? Yes. How much money do I need? That's a whole other discussion and that's not what this channel is about. But you can take this as a practice and do it with anything.
So, once you take that SMART goal idea and apply it to running, whatever it is you want to achieve, then you're setting yourself up to make great goals for you now, and into the future. So, let me know what are your goals? What are you working on? Leave them in the comments below. I'd love to hear them, give you a little bit of feedback, and make sure you're set on the right path so you can achieve your goals in running. I'll see you next time on the next episode of Runner's High.