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341: Non-Race Goals

Jan 11, 2024

In the ever-evolving journey of a runner, we often find ourselves chasing the adrenaline of race day, striving for personal bests, and setting the finish line as our ultimate benchmark. However, there's an untapped potential in embracing non-race goals that foster resilience, personal growth, and a deeper connection with the sport we love. This week's podcast episode is an ode to those seeking fulfillment in running beyond the conventional metrics of success.

As runners, we must recognize the importance of setting goals that aren't tied to racing. This shift in focus can lead to a profound understanding of our abilities and the potential for growth that lies within. By setting non-race objectives, we engage in a more holistic approach to running that can bring about a renewed sense of motivation and joy.

Here are 3 Non-Race Goals that you can incorporate into your yearly plan:

1. Maintenance

Maintenance phases, often overlooked, play a crucial role in our development. They provide much-needed respite and time for reflection, which are essential for long-term progress and injury prevention.  There are times in our life where other things need to be a priority, and running takes a back set.  That's ok! There's nothing wrong with maintaining your current fitness level, or even slightly declining at times.  Maintaining running while we focus on other demands of life is not only necessary at times, but it's also healthy to shift focus to other areas.

2. Strength Building

Strength training is not just about building muscle; it's about creating a foundation that supports enhanced performance and longevity in running. We recommend incorporating a dedicated 90-day strength-building cycle every year.  This can prevent performance plateaus and ensure our bodies are equipped to handle the demands of increased mileage and speed. This balanced approach to training can revolutionize how we view and execute our running regimen.


3. Mileage Building

Building up mileage before race training can be very beneficial for performance.  Many runners use race training cycles as a way to build mileage, but just imagine how much better your performance could be if you started with a larger base of weekly mileage so that you could focus more on speed and strategy during your race training? 

As runners, we often think about raising our ceilings - We want to improve our top end speed, our race pace, our longest distance.  What we are talking about here is raising your floor.  By increasing your baseline, you are now starting ahead and can therefore do more during your race cycle.


Whatever you choose, remember to cycle your training, choosing a specific goal for each 90 day cycle so that you can continue to run faster and longer for years to come.

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