2 min read
Do you love feeling the joy and pride of a job well done? I sure do!
During my early days of running, I achieved a new PR (personal record) every few months – and it was thrilling! As a newbie, I was slow and lacked faith in my running abilities. There was nowhere to go but up, and every second I shaved off of my pace gave me the much-needed motivation to continue. When my 11-minute mile turned into a 10-minute mile, my confidence skyrocketed.
The process of setting a goal, achieving that goal, and feeling a surge of motivation from my newfound confidence was intoxicating. I used this process to improve my running skills, and it naturally spilled into the other areas of my life. I’m a die-hard fan of setting goals and celebrating accomplishments; however, after years of running, PRs have become a matter of perspective. After my initial gains became fewer and farther between, I had to accept that I would beat my PRs less and less frequently. Once I had achieved an 8:30-minute mile, it became more difficult for me to attain and maintain new PRs consistently, which was ok when I hit that PR and still ok today!
I resist using age as an excuse for anything, but I recognize that a 40-something runner probably won’t run like a 20-something runner. I don’t get discouraged by this fact, but instead, I use this understanding to set achievable goals that challenge my abilities and improve my mental and physical fitness.
What is a PR anyway? Typical running PRs are associated with speed or distance. However, I believe a PR can be any category for which you want to track your progress and celebrate milestones. Maybe you don’t want the pressure of running faster or longer. That’s ok! You get to determine how running fits into your life. It’s your journey, so why not get creative and have some fun with it?
Spice up your running routine by incorporating some of these unconventional PR goals:
1. Location Goals – See how many different states/cities/neighborhoods/parks you can run in each year.
2. Medal/Bib Goals – See how many race medals or bibs you can collect each year.
3. Charity Goals – See how much money you can raise by running for a charity.
4. Consistency Goals – See how long you can consistently run three times per week.
5. Duration Goals – See how long you can run without walking (focus on time, not pace or miles).
6. Education Goals – See how many books you can listen to while running.
Always consider your safety, incorporate rest, and focus on gradual increases to avoid overtraining injuries, but most of all, have fun!
Do you have unique running goals? Tell us about them in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!
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