Run Club Update: Goal Setting in Races and Training


It has been awhile since I provided a Run Club update, so I figured today was the day–especially since I also need some advice from readers.

The last 6 weeks have been a bit of a rough month for my Run Clubbers.  There was a lot of germs going around and everyone seemed to be taken out for long periods with colds, flus, infections.  We also have a few people battling some minor injuries, but I am proud to say that the group is still working toward the goal by working with their setbacks by taking rest days when they really need them, doing a long workout when they are feeling energetic or doing alternate activities when running just isn’t possible.

There have also been some success stories coming out of the Run Club.  One member who could only run for about 5 minutes at a time without stopping is up to do running 17 minutes at a time.  Another member who has been battling a severe case of plantar fasciitis is finally on the mend and is starting to run again for the first time since October!

To keep everyone accountable and motivated, I have put out different challenges, with varying levels of success and rewards–the last reward was a jar of Hell’s Kitchen Peanut Butter for the member who had the most workouts for the month.  For May I am hoping to create a individual goal setting challenge that would prepare them for running their first race of the season on June 1.

I want the members to think of three goals fitness related goals for the month.  An “A,” “B,” and “C” goal. “A” is an achievable goal, “B” is a stretch and “C” would be essentially kicking butt and taking a few names. I would like them to also associate three rewards that would fit each level of achievement.

I have done this before for races that I have run–my friend Tara introduced me to this style of goal setting.  Once I read this quote from rock star marathoner Meb Keflezighi, after winning the Boston Marathon on Monday I thought I would extend my method of madness to the group…..

“I can’t run a personal best from behind. I can’t win a race from behind. Goal No. 1 was to win this race. Goal No. 2 was to be on the podium. Goal No. 3 was to run a personal best. I could have been conservative and stayed back and run 2:10 or 2:11, but I’m a competitor. This is probably the most meaningful victory ever for me.”

I feel like the quote speaks to working towards the ultimate goal and if you miss that, then there are still great things that you accomplish, despite perhaps not quite hitting that ultimate mark.

So my question–does anyone else undertake this style of goal setting? Did it work for you? Is this too much for new runners?  Do you have any tips for motivating running groups?  If so, let me know in the comments!

Much Love,

~Princess Lisa





16 thoughts on “Run Club Update: Goal Setting in Races and Training

  1. I always have 3 (or 4) goals heading into a race: an outrageous one, a realistic one, a just finish it, and if needed a “I didn’t see that coming” plan. That way, no matter what happens, I can’t be disappointed as I’ll just move to the next plan if plan A or B isn’t working out. I don’t think it’s too much for a new runner. Not sure about other ways to motivate your group, but the fact that you’re there with them is likely very motivating for them.

    • Angie, that is exactly why my friend Tara suggested I do this type of goal setting. lol. Yay for having awesome runner friends (both on the interwebs ie you and IRL).

      I hope that my presence helps. I know that there is one person in particular who has told me that without me showing up (and we’ve even met outside of our run club dates) she would never get to the gym as often. Good to know that I am at least somewhat helpful. 🙂

  2. As a new runner, that’s too much for me, but I can see how it would have a lot of merit with more hardcore runners! My goal is simple: I will finish this run. But over time as I improve, I could see myself incorporating these types of goals 🙂

    • Simplicity is def. the way to go when you just start out! Even though I have been running for 8 years (holy crap!) sometimes my only goal with my runs, be it training or racing, is just to finish. 🙂 That was def. my running goal last night! lol.

    • I dealt with ITB issues for about 7 months about 4 years ago. It was brutal. I hope that yours heals up soon (especially since race season is upon us) as I know the frustration of dealing with a nagging injury like that. *hugs*

      As for the plantar, I think the issue was that my fellow runner didn’t think it was anything serious at first and just kept going…that is the bad things about injuries like plantar or even Achilles ones–you can’t push through it or you will end up being out for months rather than just weeks.

  3. I think having these different levels of goals is a GREAT idea! I love it! Can you come to NY and doing a running group here?!?! I am in desperate need of some running motivation! 🙂

      • Lol maybe not vlog but I think we can definitely do an online version! …maybe…possibly…it could be done 🙂

        btw, I nominated you and Lindsey for the Liebster Award…you guys like questions, right? 🙂

      • I think it could totally be done. It could be called The Cross Border Disney Runners? Or well, we could come up with some other better name but that would work in the meantime.

        Def. like answering questions! 🙂

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