Since the start of the pandemic, most races have been canceled. I used to use races as my main motivation for running. I would sign up for a race, create a training plan for myself, and training for the race would help me to stay on track with my runs. Once COVID hit, all of my races were canceled and I had to quickly get creative to find new ways to keep motivated and set some new running goals.
What I have come to learn is that I don’t need to have a race on my calendar all the time to stay motivated to run. There are many other ways to keep running fresh, exciting, and fun!
Here are a few of my favorite running goals that aren’t races:
Run a Mile Without Stopping
This is my favorite goal for beginner runners. When someone starts running for the first time, this is the first big goal that can be easily attained. Once a newbie achieves this goal, it becomes much easier for them to add distance and achieve bigger goals.
I am currently coaching a few brand new runners, and helping them to achieve this milestone has been extra exciting since we all have to cross this first hurdle (which sometimes feels impossible for brand new runners!)
Run for a Charity
I love the idea of running for a greater purpose. Helping other people who are less fortunate is a great way to stay motivated to run. Rather than focusing on a race, you can focus on raising money for the cause. Knowing that you are running for a special cause will make your runs so much more meaningful and special.
Here is a list of mental health awareness charity walks and runs!
Do a Run Streak
Run streaking is becoming increasingly popular. Run streaking means running every day for a set period of time. The goal could be to run at least 1 mile every day for a month, or something similar. The thing that I like about a run streak is that it’s really good for creating a consistent running habit.
The thing that can be a bit trickier is making sure you’re not over-exerting yourself. I am a big advocate of rest days and I think they’re important. If you are doing a run streak, you should be sure to keep some of your runs very easy, make sure you’re resting between runs, and make sure you don’t overdo the mileage.
Run a Faster Mile
For the more advanced runner, a fun running goal could be to run a faster mile. The mile is short enough that it shouldn’t take too long to trim a bit of time off of your mile PR (personal record).
You can do this by practicing interval training, building endurance, and increasing stride turnover. You could also add more strength training to your routine or practice running hills to improve your mile time.
Aim to Do a Certain Amount of Miles in One Month
Another exciting running goal that you can aim for is doing a certain amount of miles in one month. This gives you some flexibility about how many miles you run at a time, especially if you have a busy lifestyle.
Depending on how many miles you typically run per month, you can add 10%, which should be an attainable and healthy goal. Example: If you usually run 50 miles per month, you can set a goal to run 55 in the next month!
Run in New Places
Running in new places can make your runs more fun and interesting. I love exploring new places when I run. Running in new cities is one of my favorite things about going on vacation.
You could set a goal to try running in a new place each week. This will help you to spice up your runs, keep them fun and interesting, and also explore new places in your city or town!
What are your favorite running goals that aren’t races?