REAL LIFE RUNNERS PODCAST: EPISODE #269 – 90 Day Goal (Transcript)
ANGIE: What's up, runners? As you might have noticed, we do not run ads on this podcast. And we do that very intentionally because we don't really like ads when we listen to podcasts, and we figured you probably don't either. We produce this podcast every single week and we stock it full of free content to try to help more runners become less frustrated and more fulfilled in their running journey. So, if you appreciate this podcast and the content that we put out for you weekly, could you do us a big favor and just help us grow the podcast by sharing this with a friend taking a screenshot and sharing it on social media or leaving us a review on iTunes. All of those things really help us to grow the podcast and to reach more people. And if you do that, we would be so grateful for you. So, onto the show.
KEVIN: This is the Real Life Runners podcasts, and we're your hosts Kevin and Angie Brown. Thanks for spending some time with us today. Now let's get running.
ANGIE: So, as runners we know that we should be setting goals, but so many runners set arbitrary goals with the wrong timelines, which leads to frustration and disappointment when they don't reach them. Today, we want to talk to, teach you all about our goal setting system so that you can set better goals and actually know how to achieve them. So, if that sounds helpful, stay tuned.
KEVIN: Alright, goal setting. This is such a great topic and it's such a wide reaching topic, but we want to kind of narrow this down to a specific aspect of of one way that we like to approach goal setting here at real life runners, which is the idea of 90 day goals 'cause there's a lot that you can go into. And we've talked about goals before on the podcast.
ANGIE: Lots of lots of podcasts in the past about goals so you guys can go back in the other 268 episodes and there.
KEVIN: For which?
ANGIE: Lots of goal setting episodes where you can get into a lot of different specifics.
KEVIN: But in this one, we want to really key in on this whole idea of what a 90 day goal is which goes to what you mentioned in in the opener there of a lot of people set a goal without like a good timeline in mind. I mean their timeline is well I'd like to run a marathon. At some point, where does even have a timeline? Or they take a race that seems like it's a good distance, but maybe it's just the race that's locally convenient. It's like, oh well that's the right thing to do and I guess I have two months to do it or I have eight months to do it. It's just, it's this arbitrary timeline, because that's.
ANGIE: The race that they would like to do, right. And so, you know, today we want to talk about goals in a couple different ways. We want to talk about setting goals that matter to you, we want to teach you how to use our 90-day goal setting system, which is something that we teach to all of our clients inside their Real Life Runners training Academy because this is a way for you to really breakdown bigger goals into smaller goals and then use those smaller goals to achieve those bigger goals. OK, so stay tuned. We're going to teach you guys how all of this works. Today, I don't think we've ever really addressed it in this much detail on the podcast. So, you guys are in for quite a treat today because like I said, this is a training that we usually reserved for our clients. But one of the big things that I've been seeing with a lot of people. We just, you know, ran our five day challenge a couple weeks ago. We just closed the doors for the new training Academy. Shout out to all of our new Academy members. We're so excited for all the people that join the Academy. We cannot wait to help you all achieve your goals, so shout out to you guys. You know, just in all of the recent trainings that we've been doing and just talking to both our new clients and all the people that went through the challenge that you know, we're talking about what their goals were. And it turned out that a lot of them either didn't have a goal or had some sort of arbitrary goal like what Kevin was talking about and so before we jump into like what 90 day goals are and why they're important and how to use them, we have to go back to that foundation which is set a goal that matters to you, OK, because so many runners end up setting arbitrary goals that just, you know, they kind of pick out because they're told. That they need to have a goal in mind. So they're like, OK, well, I guess I'll run a marathon, or I guess I'll run 1/2 marathon, right? Every a lot of runners think that they need to have a race on the calendar and that has to be the goal. And I think that this is where a lot of people get tripped up because If they maybe don't like racing or they don't feel ready to race then they're like, well, I'm just running so that I can get in better shape, but that is a terrible goal. OK, so if you are a runner that is listening to this podcast and you've decided that your goal is to get in better shape. I hope that by the end of this episode you have a better goal than that. OK, because the biggest problem with that goal is #1, It's it's somewhat arbitrary, right? Like getting in better shape like, yeah, we all want to be healthier? That's one of the reasons that we run in the first place. Right, But the other big problem with that goal is that it's very not specific. OK, it's very nonspecific, right? If you want to say like, I just want to get in better shape doesn't mean right? Or if you say I want to get faster, how fast?Right, it's not specific and so when it's not specific then you don't know when you actually achieve it. You're just kind of out there running and working towards this arbitrary, non specific goal and you don't actually know when you achieve it.
KEVIN: Right. The the arbitrary goal, the nonspecific. They will focus on that one just for study here of the non specific goal of I'd like to get faster is a great example 'cause we got a lot of people that are like oh I.
ANGIE: Let's stick with the non specific.
KEVIN: Just want to get faster. But if you go kind of easy today and then you go a little bit beyond easy tomorrow. Congrats you got faster from one day to the next that that doesn't mean that you're not going to get up in a little bit slower, the next day, but you can kind of like manipulate this yourself and just literally. Just make yourself faster, and also it leads to that really terrible trap of I want to get faster from one day to the next to the next, the next, so I always want to get faster. So. then people are just keep pushing harder and harder every single day, right? Which is is not a good plan for any sort of long term success. Like if your big long goal is substantially faster than where you are right now, being just that little teeny fraction faster every single day is not the best way to get there.
ANGIE: It's not right and and that's what a lot of people have used in the past because that does work in the beginning, you know. Like this is where a lot of people get tripped up because if you are new to running or if you can remember back to the the time when you were new to running, pretty much anything you did got you faster, because you were just getting in better shape as, even though that's what we just talked about like not being a great goal that's what was happening right when you first start running. Your body is making adaptations, and so by just kind of pushing a little bit harder or running a little bit more, you tend to keep getting faster and then at some point that stops and you hit that plateau and that's where a lot of runners end up coming to us for help because they're like, I don't understand, like everything that I was doing before that used to work is not working now or I'm still doing these things but now my body is hurting all the time and I'm constantly injured because I'm and I'm trying to push harder, but I just can't push harder, right? And so that's the trap that a lot of runners fall into but going back to this idea of an arbitrary goal at a non-specific goal. The goal cannot be arbitrary. You have to set a goal that actually matters to you, because goals are not like the purpose of setting a goal is not to actually achieve the goal, and this is where so many runners get this wrong as well and I'm going to say that again, because this is like one of those like mind blown moments like when you learn this, you're like, wait a second. Right? Because we all think, and we're all taught that we set goals so that we know what we want to achieve and then we achieve those things, right? But the goal, the achievement of the goal is not actually the goal, which is kind of crazy so just let your brain wrap around that idea for just a minute. It is the journey towards the goal. The goal simply gives us a direction. The goal is like that lighthouse out in the distance that's showing us where we want to go so if you have a goal of running 1/2 marathon, you know that you're going to need to run a certain number of miles, you're going to need to strength trainer and need to do XY and Z, in order to get to that goal. And yes, achieving that goal and actually running that half marathon is a great accomplishment, right? But the whole purpose of that goal is to have the direction for your training and that's why goals are so important. So if you don't have a goal that actually matters to you, It's going to be hard to keep motivated on those days that you really don't want to do it. Right, because we all have those days. Nothing has gone wrong. If you have those days, but goals are both a way to give us direction, and they're also something that we can use to motivate ourselves to kind of keep going when we're not, we're not really feeling it that day.
KEVIN: Right. So in the world of arbitrary goals there's a lot of disconnect to the goal itself where it might be you kind of feedback from somebody else is cool. You have a friend that's running marathon, you would be like, oh I should also run a marathon that seems like a great idea or I'm going to run a half marathon with my friends, this seems like a great idea. Maybe your friends were really going to do it and you came along for the ride, that's a very difficult physical undertaking if you're not really deeply connected to that goal, if crossing that finish line does not really excite you, yeah, then when you wake up and it's the middle of a training cycle and you're like wait I don't really feel like going and running today, and then your friend calls and cancels on you right. Are you still going to be able to continue pushing through? Right. Like if if the race doesn't really matter to you and like you said, like the goal is something that kind of is out there helping to drive you, but it helps you kind of do all these actions along the way, that's where the goal meaning something to your actual like deep connection, but it matters to you even if you can't actually then it physically achieve it so like this is sort of the the weird contrast of I have a specific race and a specific time I know that I'm going to get it or I'm not going to get it. But if I train really hard and I do all the things that I think is going to set me up perfectly in order to achieve that race on that date, at that time, at that piece and whatever, if I don't get there, there's still a satisfaction of all the work they've put into it.
ANGIE: Yeah, and you know we're not telling you that you should not try to achieve your goal, so make sure you're not hearing that because you should like the reason we set goals is so that we can stretch and grow and actually try to achieve them. Because when you set a big goal, especially if it's like a bigger thing that kind of feels unreachable to you, you have to actually change who you are in order to achieve that goal the person that you are like so say for right, for example, you're running a 5K right? Now, you're able to run a 5K distance, and you have a goal of one day running a marathon, right? Who you are today? Cannot go out and successfully run that marathon I mean could you get across the finish line possibly, right. Could you actually go out and run 26 miles it would be very painful. There probably be a lot of walking involved, right? But could you complete it, I mean? Maybe right maybe you could but for most people, that's not what they're trying to go for they actually want to feel strong, and they want to you know, do a race and like kind of have that whole experience, so who you are as someone able to run a 5K is a different person than the than the you that is able to run a marathon, and it is in that journey of becoming the marathon runner that is the point of setting that goal is the goal is to run the marathon, yes, but the goal is really, to become a marathoner and who you transform into at that point is what makes the whole journey and makes that destination even swear.
KEVIN: Yeah, I mean that that, that only a whole heck of a lot of sense.
ANGIE: I went really deep really fast there.
KEVIN: You you did you kind of kind of caught me off guard there I I have a thought on this whole non specific goal, you know, my brain works. Hey, we've got arbitrary goals of people signing up for race you they turn back the clock like three years and one of the things that we talked about regularly on the podcast was people who were race hopping. Yeah, they would run a race and then they send it for the next race, next race, because there was always another race in the calendar and then races all disappeared off the calendar and people had to figure out another way to stay motivated. So then you get these more non specific goals of I'd like to get faster, but it didn't really mean anything because there wasn't a race. That they could tie this to so then people start doing virtual races, maybe like, oh so I can kind of do this thing, but I don't even have to be in a race environment, right And now races are becoming a lot more common at this point and a lot more like normal, normalized and less involved with wearing a face mask up to the starting line and stuff you just go to a race. And so now people are trying very like, how do I race again? How do I race in and find a race that matters to me? And I think people might be a little bit hesitant because maybe a few years ago you had a race that meant something to you and the race itself was pulled out from under you. So you got that thing, so it feels kind of safer to do the non specific goal of, I'd like to feel stronger, I'd like to run longer, but you still need to tie something to it and if you can take your sort of vague goal if I want to be faster and put something more concrete on it where you know if you achieved it or if you didn't achieve it, I want to run longer. How much longer? What distance would you like to be able to cover? It if you put something specific to that even if it's not a if you put yourself in charge of it, then you feel a little bit more in control of the achieving of that.
ANGIE: Yeah, it needs to be binary, right? Like you need to know did I achieve it or did I not achieve it right? Like, check yes or no. That's how specific your goal needs to be and I I completely agree that it does not have to be a race, you know? And I think that this is where a lot of our Academy members come into like 'cause they hear us say this, like on the podcast. And like in our challenge, and a lot of times people don't even realize that you can have another goal outside of a race and they're like, well, I don't really want to do it. Race like, you know, maybe I want to do 1/2 marathon maybe next year, but what do I do now? You know how do I structure my training now and that's what we're really going to get into here with how to use these 90 day goals. But like setting a goal and making sure that. It's clear and that it's, you know It means something to you and that it's binary that you know whether it's done or not, it kind of reminds me of asking our kids to clean their room.
KEVIN: It's great metaphor, right?
ANGIE: So when I ask our kids to clean their Room like they're older now, right? We've got a 10 year old and almost 13 years old, and so they don't really care what their room looks like It's like, so I'm like, go clean your room. And so I'm like, go clean your room and they're like, why? And I'm like because your room needs to be cleaned. It's my room. And I'm like, yeah, and your room needs to be clean and they're like, why? It doesn't matter to you. Like you don't. I'm like, I go into your room like, well, you don't need to. Well, you shouldn't. Yeah, like I don't want you in there, like they don't really sometimes. I think they never specifically said that, but it's like so I'm I'm I'm thinking to myself like, you know, I I try to take what they say and not just say because I said so, right? A little bit differently than as I say, because I said so I know 'cause it's so much easier. It's so much easier sometimes but like, you know, it's like, OK, so you're right. Like, why does it matter? Right? And so I I do think about these things so they clearly don't care. I do care. Like having a clean house matters to me, like having things on my counter drives me crazy like I'm always like, come get your stuff, put it away and usually they won't fight me as much with this stuff out in their public space, right? Because they've heard me say it enough.
KEVIN: Could they don't bother you?
ANGIE: They've been trained and they've been trained since they were little right that they need to like pick up after themselves, and if they don't then I'll do it and all those things might just go into the donation pile, right, but If they don't care about their room, or about dusty in the house right that they'll always throw that one that meets you like if I ask them to dust or vacuum, they're like, why does it matter? Blah blah blah I have to ask myself, how can I make it mean something to them, right? So how can I make this goal of my of a clean house, which is my goal. How can I make that are not arbitrary to them, because to them it's arbitrary to them, they're. Like, what's the point of this, right? Like we have to clean and then it gets dirty again and then we have to clean and then get started therapy again, so what's the point of doing it right? So I have to make it mean something to them so that means I either have to give them a reward for doing it or I have to punish them for not doing it. That's kind of my choice, right?
KEVIN: So then it kind of takes away the the clean house that they're really just aiming for reward and this is, this is a means to the end.
ANGIE: and and I try to explain to them why it's important to me and I think sometimes that works, the pain in their mood, you know, and I think long term that will help long term, I think it will, yes you know, like I think that they're better than they used to be maybe?
KEVIN: I like to tell myself that 10 years from now it will help them be generally clean, functioning humans. But you know, we'll see how things go.
ANGIE: But then yeah, so but then so OK, so I have to make it mean something right? I have to make it not arbitrary for them I have to make that goal mean something and then I also need to make it more specific. I need to clarify to them what a clean room looks like because my version of clean often does not correspond with their version of clean.
KEVIN: Let's be honest. Your original clean in my version of clean don't often correspond, sometimes she.
ANGIE: That is also true.
KEVIN: Had been clarified to me what a clean room meant 'cause.
ANGIE: Yeah, receipts on the dresser is not a clean room.
KEVIN: This is this is true I.
ANGIE: From six months ago.
KEVIN: I've been told this. I have also been. Explained what it means but it it's a very valid point of clean to one person, clean to another. Like clean to you and clean to your sister, who's a little crazy also mean two different things. She doesn't listen to this podcast, although her husband sometimes does so that could.
ANGIE: Does he? shout out to our brother?
KEVIN: Be fun and occasionally. So she has a different definition, like, OK, do I need to dust? Do I need to vacuum? Do I need to move the bed out from the wall and vacuum all the way back into the corner? Do I need to mop the floor? Should I, like, lift the mattress up and mob? Like there's different levels of clean, so the kids need their very clearly what it is.
ANGIE: For sure.
KEVIN: Just like when you're running, you need to know exactly what that goal is like. What is If you're doing a race, what is the race distance? When Is it? And you know how fast are you actually aiming for? Like that, it is important that you have some things, because then you know when you're done or if you didn't get it, that you should keep that goal, or adjust that goal, or whatever it is, but you at least have a timeline, you have something you're aiming for.
ANGIE: Right. Hey runners, quick interruption to remind you to pause this episode, take a screenshot and share it to your social media so that you can help us grow this free podcast that we produce for you every single week or, if you'd like to buy us a coffee and support the show that way, you can head over to realliferunners.com/patron and you could make a one time contribution to the show and will send you a little gift of appreciation. All right, now back to the episode.
So once you have that goal that is both specific and means something to you, now we can get into this concept of 90 day goals, which is what we like to teach in the Academy and we teach 90 day goals to help us stay focused and and to help us take bigger goals and break them down into more doable pieces that we can then use and stack together to create a good timeline so that we know what we need to be focusing on during each training cycle so that we can actually achieve those bigger goals, right? Because a lot of, if we go back to our example of, you know the person that's able to run a 5K that wants to be able to run a marathon. There's a big difference between 3.1 miles and 26.2 miles. How do I get from 3.1 to 26.2. It's more than just keep adding mileage, right? That is not the only thing you need to do in order to successfully run a marathon. There are people out there that will tell you that that's all you need to do. And I would argue with them and say if you actually wanted to be a positive experience that you don't just decide like, OK, did that now I'm done. There's going to be a lot more required, right? And so how do I know what I need to focus on like so say my goal is to run a marathon in a year, what do I do now, right? Like, how do I know what I need to focus on right now so that I can achieve that bigger goal down the road.
KEVIN: Right. Because, what a lot of people do is especially for like longer thing like that, like a marathon on 1/2 marathon. Something where you want to make this substantial change or maybe you've run 1/2 marathon and you'd like to take a huge amount of time off of it, but this might be like a 6, 8, 12 month goa that you're looking at here, but it's really tough to stay focused on something it's like 12 months as well.
ANGIE: Specially when you think about like Olympians, right? They're trying to focus on a goal that's like 4 years out, or maybe even eight years out.
KEVIN: That's one of my favorite things that people always like re put on Instagram. And it's like it's a quote attributed to Usain Bolt.
ANGIE:Yes, I saw that last week.
KEVIN: It clearly isn't. Yeah, it it I don't think demands ever said it, but it's a great line. It's like I trained for years to run less than 10 seconds. You can get up and run this morning, like, sure like, is that that the focus? Also ludicrous because there's World Championships on the off seasons. Like he didn't train for years for one Olympic race. There's lots of races but it it gets to the point that it does really historically address the point.
ANGIE: Well, and here's the thing is, I think that a lot of us as real life runners, we don't tend to think long term like that. A lot of us tend to just think like right now they're like, well, I wanna run 1/2 marathon that means I can do it in three months, right? And we set these ridiculous goals, and I shouldn't say ridiculous goals. We set goals with ridiculous timelines is really what it ends up being. Right, because we want we live in a culture of immediate gratification. And we want when we want something, we want it right now and learning is one of those things that dust does not work that way. And people don't like that. It doesn't work that way. And some people also like that it doesn't work that way, right? On the other hand, 'cause, they're like, I actually have to work for this I mean, I'll tell you honestly, that's one of the things that keeps me coming back. Right. It's it's one of the frustrations, but it's also one of the beautiful things about it that, like, I have to keep showing up I'm not inherently good at this in my mind, right? Like, we can talk about that on a whole different podcast, right?
KEVIN: It's a different story.
ANGIE: But like it's one of those things that I believe really challenges me to, like, show up, keep believing in putting in the work believing in myself like keep doing the things and you will continue to improve, right? A lot of us, as real life runners, we have a hard time kind of looking out into the future and I want like part of our hope is that we can start to kind of rewrite that idea, right? Because what we love to talk about is longevity in our running now I want to be able to run for the rest of my life. So what does that actually look like? How can I set myself up now for like goals next year, our goals in two years or five years? Right, and so that what I'm doing right now, my short term goals are not sacrificing my long term health and longevity with my running.
KEVIN: Yeah, they're not sacrificing and they might actually be helping to enhance the chance of whatever that bigger goal is 5 years down the road.
ANGIE: I hope so, yeah.
KEVIN: So, you know, you talk about the like the half marathon plan. Oh I wanna run a half marathon, that's a 12 week cycle perfect. That's like, that's 90 days. Were great. OK, but what if the half marathon you want to run is 6 months out, right? Then people like, Oh well I have a 12 week plan that means I can do whatever I want for the next three months would not exactly. I mean sure you can, but your best chance of success is putting yourself in a really good position To start your quote on quote half marathon plan, right? And you know I I say quote onquote but we do that like we have specific race race training plans but it depends on where you are at the start of the plan like we've got half marathon plans, Marathon plans that start at like 6 miles and some that started like 15 miles and that's a very different marathon plan of whether you're starting at a 10K or already capable of running 1/2 marathon like these are very different starting points. So what you do in the time before you get into your race specific cycle into your last 90 days before the race, It kind of matters. Otherwise you're literally just floating around and you're like, I don't know I mean, I guess I'll kind of Gget stronger during this time, but again you if you don't put anything specific on it, are you actually getting stronger in a way that's going to enhance the build up right before your race.
ANGIE: yeah, because when you set a goal that's like, you know, down the road and you're not sure what to focus on now. You aren't just wasting training time, just kind of floating without direction and a lot of times, right? Like you're like, well, I'm still running, right? So people think that they're maintaining when in fact they might actually be declining, right? Because they're they're still out there and they're like, well, I'm still running four days a week or I'm still running five days a week, I'm still doing my strength training. But if you're just kind of like running, kind of whatever you want when you know whatever you feel like on that day. There's there's good things about that, don't get me wrong, like, and I think that's especially, yeah, especially after like a race training cycle when you've been really focused on a specific goal, having a little bit of a float period is actually a really good thing, both physically and mentally.
KEVIN: There's some great things about it, actually.
ANGIE: But how long are you letting that float period last? The really big key. Right, because if you're just floating without direction then you could be wasting valuable training time and so that could actually cause you to decline in your fitness And then when you start that new race training plan and instead of say or, you know say you ended your just like to make up some random numbers here, you ended your last race training cycle at like a Level 6, right? We're just, I'm just making up number. OK. And then you kind of do a float thing and during that float phase, you actually decline to like a level 5 or even a level 4, right? And then you start your next train cycle. So instead of starting at that level 6 where you were, you're now down at a level 4. So you first have to build back up to that six and then try to progress from there, and this is one of the reasons that so many runners get stuck in this plateau and this what, what feels like a lack of progress is because they progress during one cycle and then they kind of float without direction and they declined, and then they progress again, but they're just kind of progressing back to where they were or just a little bit ahead possibly. Right. And they're not making the significant progress that they want to be making or that they believe that they should be making, quote on quote should be making, right, because they've been declining and not even realizing it.
KEVIN: Right. So the flow period you point out. It's great, like if you've just finished like a long intensive training session for a big race. You know, maybe this was even something that like you've been thinking about for a long time, so it was mentally and physically challenging. Yeah, having afloat period is is a great thing and if that flow period stretches out for several weeks, you are going to decline even wWhen you like, you get past the float in the recovery and like your body is done being sore and you get back out there and you're running if you don't have like an organized plan of what it is that you want to do we all know we're going to do the same thing when we head out. We're going to do the workouts that are the most comfortable for us that we like sort of some people that might be easy running, some people that might be slide back into every run as a moderate pace run. Some people like oh Well, I kind of enjoy this aspect of speed work, but I'm not really a big fan of like, I don't know the long slow run, but now no, you're not doing a long run anymore and so you're going to lose your like extra long endurance ability. Or I like the work that's where I get to really push for the ones where I kind of like sustain a like a solid marathon pace. Those aren't very fun for me. Then that ability is going to drain. So you point out that you go from like a 6 down to a 4, not necessarily in every capability, right? But certainly in some of them, because we're all going to do the same thing, we're all going to pick the workouts that we like and keep doing those and tell ourselves we're on we're on a good training plan because we're still doing a variety of workouts. You know you're not, you're. Just doing the ones you like.
ANGIE: I mean you might be right like, it might be OK for a little while, but
KEVIN: I Just do the ones I like/
ANGIE: Well, and so you know, we want you guys to understand that, like having these big goals are great. And but we do need a plan to get there and so the way that we can use 90 day goals is understanding OK, what do I need to focus on right now, so that I can achieve those goals in the future. So for example, if we take that marathon goal and say we want to run a marathon in a year, we know we have 12 months. If we break that up into 90 day cycles we know that we've got four of those, right? 'cause three months each times four is 12 months. So we know that the cycle the 90 day cycle right before the marathon that's going to be our marathon race training cycle, right? So then we kind of work backwards and we know that we need to be able to build up our mileage to get to the start of that marathon training cycle, like Kevin said. So there are lots of different marathon plans out there? You know you can start some plans at like a 10K, like he said, right, but is that going to set you up for the most success? If you were able to run 1/2 marathon before you started a marathon training cycle, don't you think you'd be set up for likely more success, we would say yes. We would argue yes, right? Because then the the focus of the marathon training cycle could be improving your endurance not just building mileage, not just building endurance, but taking that base that you've already built and then adding to it and then maybe adding on some speed and xome strength and some other things so that you are better prepared to run that marathon in a very strong way to feel better while running that marathon to not hit the wall as hard in that marathon, right? It just kind of set you up better for that marathon training cycle, so then you kind of keep working backwards and you're like, OK, well If I want I want to be able to run 1/2 marathon by the beginning of that cycle, then you would probably want to add on a base building cycle like a mileage building cycle. You need to maybe have a strength building cycle where you're building up the strength in your muscles to be able to increase your mileage that way, right? So there are different things that you can focus on and that don't just have to be races. Right, you could if you wanted to, you could do like a 10K cycle and then 1/2 marathon cycle And then a marathon. It's like, well, you could do like, you know, you could do race training cycles like kind of all built up into each other or.
KEVIN: You totally do that.
ANGIE: You could do like a strength building or just a mileage building, things like that to kind of so that you're not racing, you know, every three months if that is something that is like physically and mentally taxing for you. Some people love it, right? Some people love racing and it's like a lot of fun for them and they It's not stressful at all. Other people take races very seriously and it it becomes a very stressful thing, so you kind of have to feel it out and kind of know who you are as well, right?
KEVIN: I meanPart of this is figuring out what is the most enjoyable for you when you're training. Like you want the overall training, not just like any 90 day cycle to be fun but the overall picture needs to be fun for you yeah, it also needs to find like what are your weaknesses that over the course of, you know, this 12 month goal. This 24 month goal, what are the weaknesses that you're going to need to address. Do you need to address them early on? Like, is it that big of a weakness that this may cause injury if not addressed early if you have a two year plan. And you're like, OK, well, I really need to work on this you know, weakness in my body, my hips are particularly weak so anytime I go longer than four or five miles, my knees start really hurting. Well, you don't have to train, build up endurance, you got such a long window to work with you could really spend a good amount of time working on the strength required in your hips and your glutes and everything so that it puts you in a place where while you're still just running 4 miles, you've built up this massive ability of strength, right? There may be other people that already are super strong and they're like, OK, so I'd like to maintain that's true. Then I just I want to start by building up my mileage so I'm able to run that like 15 to 20 miles for several months before the marathon. Other people are like, there's no way I want to run 15 to 20 miles every weekend for several months for the marathon, that sounds ridiculous. So it has to fit you and then ideally what sounds fun to you is also a good balance of highlighting your strengths but continuously improving your weaknesses.
ANGIE: Exactly so I like to think of this idea of like 90 day goals as like saving money. Like similar to saving money, right? So if you want to go on a trip and you know that it's going to cost X amount of dollars, what do you need to save up this month to build up to that in six months, right? So you know, OK, it's going to cost $6000. I have six months to save, so I want to save a $1000 a month so that I have the money for that trip in six months, right? This, at least this is how people used to work in the 1960s before we all put everything on credit cards, right?
KEVIN: So I need to have $6000 so I'll open a brand new credit card that has $7000 limit, jackpots!
ANGIE: And perfectly to go up so but no like, you know what do I need to do right? How do I need? How can I save money this month so that by the time we get to that six month mark I'll have all the money saved up that I need, you know, to take that trip. So it's kind of the same thing, right? And so kind of like we said, once you understand that there needs to be of focus for each specific 90 day cycle. Then what you can do is you can stack those things on top of each other to hit those big goals, right? But the mistake that we see a lot of people making here is that they see these goals as independent of each other, right? They just like, OK, well, that's a half marathon plan that's a marathon plan that's a 10K and that's that. Right. And so that leads them when they see all of these goals and cycles as independent of each other or when you feel like you have to have a race on the calendar for you to have focus, then it leads to people not making that long term progress and it leads them to that inevitable plateau like we were talking about before, where you like build up when you get to that level 6 and then you fall back down and then you build back up and you fall back down. If you look at like if you were to do that like on a chart, right. You're you're kind of just going up and down, up and down it, but you're kind of hitting that same plateau across the board because you're never really breaking through and and using one cycle to build onto the last cycle to kind of elevate you further like the stock ticker that we would all like to see.
KEVIN: Yes, yes. Your assigned curve it just continuously goes up and down and up and down and I'm just not getting you anywhere. It needs to start gradually sloping upward so you point out that a lot of people see these independent of each other. Yeah, I think one of the big issues is why they're independent is if you go to a lot of different like training magazines or training books or things like that, and you flip to the training plans in the back they're all set up as race plates. This I'd like to run a 5K. Great. Here's your plan I'd like to run 10K. Here's a plan. I'd like to run a marathon years of planning, and so they all seem very separate from each other. It's one of my favorite aspects of our training team is we have plans that are like, I'd like to increase my strength. Like, oh, OK, yeah. And and is a measurable plan. Here is a plan that will work and you can do strength routine at the beginning you can do a strength routine at the end and you can check and literally be able to see like are you lifting the same weight? Could you lift more weight at the end of it? Could you do more reps? Do you feel more comfortable doing the same routines so you can't?
ANGIE: Do you still have that knee pain that was aggravating you at the beginning of the plan, yeah.
KEVIN: So, it's not designed for a race I'd like to get faster, OK? Here's a plan without a race at the end of it that is generally going to help you get faster. No, don't get me wrong if you just want to get faster, you could usually throw a 5K plan from somewhere onto it 'cause. There's going to be a lot of speed work in that, but you can train and say I'd like to get stronger now I want to get faster and now I want to build my endurance and now I want to go very specific that's a half marathon year. Yeah, like I'd like to get strong, then fast, and then run further and then fine tune into my half marathon shape like that's a pretty solid year plan for a 13 mile goal. Yeah, and then you get to it andyou're like, OK now I'm going to run the race. Let's see how it goes. And then you look back and you're like, alright, which one of those plans maybe did I need to spend some more time on, like in the race, 'cause during race, you're pushing yourself really hurt something is going to not feel great. Yeah, so you're going to ask yourself, what did I feel like? I just got so exhausted early do I feel like it wasn't able to keep up at the beginning of it, like what was it what did aches and pains start showing up? Maybe that was an underlying weakness that you needed to stay addressed with like you strength and you don't actually maintain that along the way that fades away so you gotta make sure that you're keeping up with all the different all different aspects, right?
ANGIE: Exactly, so you know the same way that like we I talked about saving money. You can also think about Legos, right?
KEVIN: I often do.
ANGIE: I think that 'cause clearly. Right. I mean, our girls love. I love Legos And it's like you get the Lego set and there's a beautiful picture on the front of what that lego is going to look like once it is finished, right? What is what is the completed set look like? And then you open up the box and there's just pieces, right? But the Lego sets nowadays come in like separate bags and they're like, OK bag, number one bag, two bag and then like there's like 6 bags for some of those, like big sets, right?
KEVIN: I made some of our older ones she's got a lot of sets there.
ANGIE: Yeah, and it's like you have to do them in order, right? You have to build them one step at a time. First you have to build the base of the Harry Potter castle before you can, you know, start to add like the stickers and the details on the steeple of the clock tower, right? Like, that's what what has to happen. And our training plans are no different a lot of times people want to like, jump to the clock tower and like, just do the race or just have that, you know, race a metal around their their neck and they forget about the base and everything that kind of comes before that. So I want you guys to think of like your training plan kind of like Legos so it's like, OK, well what do I need to build first? Like what is my base to look like so that I will be successful in building the full Lego set.
KEVIN: Yeah, it's your right. You can put the top of the castle on and you can put all the stickers on it and it'll look lovely for the top of the castle. You could jump into a race cycle and you could probably successfully across the finish line. But are you just crossing the way that you want?
ANGIE: Well, that's a thing.
KEVIN: Is it going to look like a finished product.
ANGIE: So, if you took that Lego set, you could probably build a castle without looking at the directions.
KEVIN: You could also build it pretty well even if you tossed away bag one. Yeah, like if you just use bag two and three, you'd get you could finish it and people be like It is a castle.
ANGIE: Yeah, but like even if you like did it without the directions completely right. Like people that just completely don't have a training plan, right? If you put the right pieces together, you could probably make something that resembles a castle. So just like you're if you're training for a race and you don't follow a training plan, you could probably cross the finish line it by just kind of throwing some things together. But how is it going to look? How is it going to feel? Is that actually going to be the Harry Potter castle that's on the front of Lego blocks like probably not unless you're some sort of civil, right. The same thing with your training plan, like if you're just kind of throwing things together, can you cross the finish line shore? Is it going to feel good in the process? I don't know. Maybe, maybe not. Right. Like could it feel better? Yes, period. Right. Like could it feel better? Yes, if you followed a personalized training plan that was right for you and build your strength and build your base and addressed some of those weaknesses in those deficits that you had ahead of time. I can guarantee that it's going to feel a lot better and you're probably going to hit a race PR. And you're probably gonna run a faster time than your you thought you were capable of because you did the work ahead of time. You focused on different training cycles to build up the different pieces, and then you put those pieces together in a very intelligent way to get you to your goal, feeling amazing.
KEVIN: Yeah, you also probably came up with an appropriate timeline. Yeah, sometimes. You know, you look at 1/2 marathon cycle, they're 12 weeks long. It's like, oh. Like I have 12 weeks before this race on the calendar I'm good to go but the long run at the end of the first week of your half marathon thing is 7 miles. Well, if you're currently at 6, I'm sorry. If you're currently at like 3, you can't jump into a seven mile long run. You can. It's not a good idea, but you're probably not going to make it all the way through the 12 week cycle year. That's too big of a leap straight off the bat, right? And then you're just going to keep building from there.
ANGIE: Your risk of injury, just goes through the roof at that point in time and then it's just kind of like you're walking on egg shells, just waiting for like the other shoe to drop right?
KEVIN: Which is a terrible way to go through your entire plan like you want to make sure that yo feel confident as you move from step to step to step which is why the 90 day cycles work so well, especially if you consciously stack them on top of each other. Then you follow a race and it's like, well should do. I need a whole 90 days cycle to sort of recover from the race? Probably not. No, you can take like a little bit of time where you are in fact doing what we're talking about, where you're doing the the runs that you enjoy your taking some downtime, some mental and physical downtime and then get into a cycle that focuses on something that might not be quite as daunting as the big race thing that you're doing, but consciously starts moving you towards maybe the next bigger goal that's even further. Maybe that was a goal that you worked a whole year for to get to that half marathon, but you still see that half marathon is a stepping stone towards the next thing. Yeah, so once you're giving yourself some time to recover you then want to pick back up on another 90 day hoal that consciously says, Alright, now these 90 days are going to help me get even closer to that next even bigger goal.
ANGIE: Totally. And I think that that's one of the the big things that like coaching can really help with, right? Because a lot of times people come in like even some of our brand new Academy members come in there like, OK, so I have this goal and it's probably it's like in next April, right? And there's also these other things along the way that I would like to incorporate and I'm not, I'm just not sure how it all works together. And so we as coaches can just ask questions and kind of figure, OK, well, what's your priority here? Like, where is where is your base right now? Like have you had any injuries have by asking those questions in getting that clarity then you can say, OK, this is what we need to focus on right now. Like I had so much fun helping one of our new clients sets kind of set up this timeline with a couple different races that she has on her plan, because anything is doable as long as you go about it, the right way like and you care about the goal and you care about the goal, and then you that you also have the appropriate levels of expectations, right? Like I think that that's another important thing too.
KEVIN: Good one.
ANGIE: So you guys, this is what we have for you, so 90 day goals are really really useful tools that you can use to not only feel better and have direction for your training right now but help you to achieve really big goals that you might not think are possible right now. So, if that's something that is interesting to you, I think that you might want to join the wait list for the Academy. OK, and and maybe next time we open up maybe you want to jump in and kind of help or get some help with you know, the goals and really learn all of the details and specifics about that. But hopefully this episode was really helpful and gets you to kind of think about your training and your goals differently in a way that's going to help you help set you up for more success towards those. So if you found this helpful, we would be so appreciative, If you were to share this with a friend, take a screenshot, share it on social media. We provide this podcast for you for free, every week and you know stack it full of content to help you run your life. So, if you would like to thank us for that sharing it and helping us grow the podcast by sharing on your social or writing us or review on iTunes. Those are really, really important things that will help us to grow and help us to help more people just like you. So thanks you guys for you know, anything that you do to help us for the podcasts, we really, really appreciate it.
So, as always, it's been a pleasure for us to spend this time with you. Thank you for choosing to spend your time here with us.This has been Episode #269 of the Real Life Runners podcasts.
Now get out there and run your life!