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5 Steps to Map Out Your Goals

Tim and I just came back from watching the Boston Marathon, and seeing such an amazing accomplishment in such heat this year, really had me thinking. I’ve run the Boston marathon three times. I wasn’t there during the tragedy, but I specifically I remember that I was in our gym when it was going on and I felt horrified because I had numerous friends who were there. I immediately went to Facebook and tried to find out if everyone was okay, and that was the scary part of that.

The Boston Marathon has always been a love of mine. It’s amazing how we use the term Boston Strong and how close people are today. It makes you start thinking about the families that have lost loved ones. It was just important to us be there today and cheer on friends.

Have you ever thought, “Oh I’ve always wanted to do [this], but I never could”?

We tend to overthink things or use that excuse, “I could never do this,” when it comes down to making a decision that we have a hard time doing. Some are very goal-oriented and never do this, but others are safe or afraid or not sure where to begin. And that’s the point where they reach out for help or take that leap of faith. They decide, “I am going to do this and I am going to go for it.”

  1. Let’s determine what you want to achieve.

This is the easiest part of goal setting. Just ask yourself, “What is it that I would like to achieve within one year?

The good thing about running is that you can always walk.

When you have a support system, whether it’s a coach, a running group, or your friends and family, you are going to be more likely to succeed.

  1. Break down how you will get there

After you have determined what you would like to achieve, it gets more challenging. This is also the step where most people fall off the bandwagon. How are you planning to make your goal a reality?

When you don’t feel like working out but your friend is like, “Come on it will be fine when we get there,” you are happy when you do it. We were in Florida last week and I made this conscious decision that I needed to do an 8-miler. I went out, not really sure where I was going, and I went all the way to one point and came back. It was 6 miles. Part of my head said, “Oh this is fine, I don’t have to go further.” But the other part said, “I made a commitment to do it and that means I just have to go for another 18 minutes.”  So, I went for it. And I felt happy I met that goal at that moment.

If you don’t have a goal and you randomly go do something, how do you know you have completed that to your ability?

I often coach people about the importance of having a plan whether you’re building up to a long run, working on speed, or accomplishing any kind of goal. You have to plan and map it out so your training is more successful.

  1. Let’s write it down

To go from wishful thinking to actually achieving your goals, you need to write down your commitments.

A lot of it is sitting down and evaluating where you are. First, have you ever run before? Get that basic data and then determine what your goal is. Identify the end results you want, so you can map them out. For some of my clients, they just want to work out with a group of people, and that’s fantastic. Others are training for the Beach to Beacon at the beginning of August, and that’s what kicks them into gear to start the training process.  

My primary goal is to help people run at the pace they should be running at in order to get faster and to reach their potential goals. Again, it comes down to what is the goal? Is the goal just to run? Is the goal for a specific race or is it to lose weight?

  1. We want to make it stick

The destination is known, the map is clear, and the route is defined. All you have to do now is stick to the game plan.

I always do a half marathon in August, so I will take that date and count back to today measuring the 12+ weeks I have to map out specific long runs, speed work, repeats and when I need to start increasing my miles weekly to reach that goal.

We recently launched our running club which runs now until the end of August.

What’s different about it is that it’s not just a group run, it’s designed for people who may have a goal.

Maybe you’d like to do a half marathon this fall and you don’t know where to start, or maybe you’re working towards a 5K or 10K with a PR in mind.  Take one step at a time.

  1. Just do one thing every day that brings you closer to your goals

How do you make sure that you will reach your goals? Work on your them every single day.

Our run club is a great community with a coach on hand. It’s individual but in a group setting. We are all accomplishing the same things each night, but everyone is at a different level. No matter how fast you run, you have to put in the work. Say you and I both want to do a half marathon. I might be faster, but I still have to put in the miles out there. I will still need a training plan like you.

The Running Club teaches the importance of training and how to build up. The biggest mistake people make is when it comes to running is they just go out the door and say, “I’m just going to go for a run.” But if they don’t have a plan – they’re going to be doing the same run over and over again. At some point, the body does adapt to that, so you have to actually question, “Why am I running?” To run just to run is fine, but if you have a goal like running your first half marathon, you need to know what it takes to do that. And then you map it out.