One Year Later… Another Goal Achieved

Scholastic Challenge 2008 167By Lance Cull

June 23, 2007… 15th Scholastic Challenge… Approximately 28 minutes. That was my first race since starting to run races (about a 20 year layoff). I’d only been running for about a month but I needed a baseline. I knew I could run faster, but in order to do so I needed a point to start from and to set some personal goals.

I’m a firm believer in goals and I’d like to take a little time to share the importance of goals. Goals enable people to stay focused on the end result and also in the intensity of training in relation to the goal you have set forth.

The training should be specific for the result you are aiming toward. I like the saying that “If you want to run fast, you have to train fast”. The same goes for distance goals. If you are going to run far, you need to train your body to run far.

I’ve found the Internet to be an excellent place for research on training plans. One plan may not have everything you need but you can pick and choose from multiple plans that will cater to your goal. The most important thing that has been stressed to me when establishing goals is to make them hard but somewhat attainable.

I, myself, need goals to keep me motivated to train and train at a higher intensity. In 2007 I had many goals that I wanted to accomplish in my first year of running. I had a time goal in the 5K of breaking 22 minutes. Although I fell a bit short of that goal, 22:08, I’ll take the almost 6 minute improvement. I had never run a 10K so I trained for Abe’s Amble and finished in about 50 minutes. I was shooting for less than 1 hour but didn’t really have a time goal. This race was more to establish a baseline for future races of that distance. And my final goal was to run in the St. Louis Half Marathon. Check… 1 hour 50 minutes. This was my first Half Marathon.

Scholastic Challenge 2008 117In 2008, I sat down after the half marathon and set some personal running goals for 2008. I’d like to finish a 5K in under 21 minutes, and a 10K in under 47 minutes. Not sure how doable those are but I’m going to work my butt off to achieve them. My last and toughest goal is to train and complete the Arizona Rock-n-Roll Marathon in January, hopefully in under 4 hours. I’ll keep my fingers crossed on that one.

For myself as a so-called “competitive” runner, goals are very important. I’m never going to be the fastest runner but as long as I keep progressing and hitting those personal running goals, I’ll keep coming back for more. Achieving a goal is motivation in itself.

And although I’m not quite where I want to be, and I know I still have a long way to go, because of goals I’m a lot further than where I was.


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