Goals and Consistency
So many people writing posts about New Year Resolutions and goals for the year, it feels almost obligatory to do the same. I like proper, meaningingful statistics based on good research that have a large dose of realism and practicality mixed in. From what I can find it appears that at the 6 month mark, that people are 10 times more likely to stick with a resolution made for the New Year than at any other time. Even so, this better success rate is still somewhere between 14-46% depending on what you read. So the majority fail anyway.
The continually regurgitated basics of goal setting apply here. Otherwise, it's a pointless exercise. I'll keep this running related but I think the following caries over to any goals or resolutions. First up there is a difference between setting goals and working towards goals. Put another way you can list a goal, but there's a lot more to it to make it happen.
Importantly, a goal has to be measurable and should have a time line attached to it. It needs to be action based versus just an idea. Wanting to get faster at running isn't enough. At what distance? By when? How do you define faster? What is the criteria of pass or fail? Answering these questions is the difference. They help you sort out the smaller goals required to reach the big goal. That then makes it easier to develop a plan. All combined it provides accountability, measure for progress and an environment to lead to success.
Understanding the background these goals are made against is important. What has been the limitations previously? What is likely to prevent me reaching them this time? What will make it easier? How do they fit into my life and what do I need to change in my life for them to fit?
This brings me to my running related goals for 2014.
The big one is to run a new PB in the marathon. I'm aiming for the Melbourne Marathon in October. My current PB is 2:58:41, and I will be happy with anything better, but to think bigger my ultimate goal is for 2:45:00. If training is going well then I am likely to have a go at the Traralgon Marathon in June. All other goals essentially lead to the marathon goal.
Australasian Police & Emergency Services Games
Held in my home town, I'll be competing in the 5000m, 10km cross country and half marathon. I'll be aiming for a win in each event, and have time goals that are in line with my marathon goal above. The events are in April and provide the challenge of all being within a 5 day period.
This was my biggest issue in training in 2013. It has caught up with me, and heading into the Two Bays Trail Run 56km I know this has puts me a long way from my initial hopes for the race. Without consistency this year I will have difficulty backing up with 3 races in 5 days at the Emergency Services Games, and definitely won't be in a position to achieve my marathon goals.
What do I define as consistency?
Basing my week as 7-9 days depending on my work roster, my primary goals is to run every day with accepting one day per every 7-9 days only. Next I will be aiming to achieve at least an average of 15km/day (unless I have good reason to alter this like tapering). Even with missing a day of running, I will endeavour to keep up the volume by looking to add a second run within the next few days.
Injury prevention is paramount when aiming to maintain higher running volumes and back up day after day. As a result I have to pay attention and do what is required to prevent injury in this setting. The stretching, tissue therapies and supportive conditioning just has to be done.
The biggest threat over the last year to my consistency is the rest of my life and my able to procrastinate on the tasks and chores I don't enjoy doing. By planning ahead, preparing food, putting away the washing straight away and just getting stuff done and not putting these things off, then I will have less competing for my running time.