As we are getting ready to start a new year it's time to thinking about setting SMART goals. Do you set SMART goals for your running and training?

Stephanieruns Fitness

December 30, 2018 Newsletter

Setting Smart Goals

Every year thousands of people set resolutions for the new year. The biggest mistake I see people making is that they are too vague. I hear a lot of resolutions and goals where people want to 'be healthier' or 'get in shape.' The problem is what exactly does this mean? You could ask a hundred different people what being healthier means and you'd most likely get a hundred different answers. The way to make sure you're setting goals that work for you is to make sure your goals are SMART.

So what does SMART mean? It stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time based. Making your goals smart doesn't mean you'll reach them, you still need to put in the work and train to reach your goals. However when you make your goals smart you're setting yourself up for success. 

How do you make your goals SMART? Let's break it down.

S: specific. This means you need to add in detail so your goal isn't vague. Think of answering the 'w' questions, who, what, where, ect. If your goal is to run a half marathon you could make it more specific by naming the race, the date and your goal for the race.

M: measurable. There needs to be a way to know if you've reached your goal. If your goal is to be healthier there's no way to measure if you've reached this. If your goal is to run a mile in 7 minutes then the measure of reaching your goal is running a mile in 7 minutes. You need something to measure your success.

A: attainable. This one is very important. Your goal has to be something you can accomplish. This doesn't mean your goal needs to be easy. In fact your goal could scare you. However your goal, with training and hard work needs to be possible. For example if you've never ran before running a marathon in the next six months isn't an attainable goal.

R: realistic. Sometimes the r is referred to as relevant. Your goal needs to be something that is in line with what you want to accomplish. It also needs to be something that's realistic for you. Do you work 60-70 hours a week and have family commitments? Adding a marathon training program on top of all of that probably isn't realistic. Your goals needs to stay in the realm of reality.

T: time based. Your goal needs to have a time component. This means when you will achieve your goal by. If your goal is to run a specific race then usually you'd plan to achieve your goal on race day. If it's not a race specific goal then you need to pick a date to have your goal accomplished by. A goal without a date is just a wish.

Let's put it all together. Take the vague goal of 'I want to run a race' and let's make it a SMART goal. My goal is to run a half marathon in one hour and fifty minutes on June 2, 2019 at the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Half Marathon. When I made the goal SMART it tells you exactly what race I intend to run and when it is. It also tells you how I can measure if I reach by goal as I intend to run it in one hour and fifty minutes. You'd check to see if this is attainable/realistic based on your own personal circumstances. The time based aspect of my goal is that I intend to crush this goal on June 2, 2019. This isn't my own personal goal, it's just an example for you to see how you can make your goals SMART. Hopefully it also shows you that creating a SMART goal isn't complicated!

Take the time this week, or in the coming weeks when you have time to set some short term and long term goals. Your short term goals can be building blocks to reach your larger goal as well. Flush out your goals by making them SMART. However remember goals are fluid and flexible and have to change and adapt to our training. You should always be reflecting on your goals and how your training is stacking up.

Weekly Challenge: Start 2019 With Fitness

This week I'm challenging you to start 2019 with fitness. I'm positive that you read my newsletter week after week because you love running and fitness so this won't be a hard challenge for you. I'd like you to pick a run, workout, or fitness class that you love and do it. Pick something you really enjoy. Pick something that reminds you why you wake up early in the morning and run. Pick the workout that afterward you have that fitness high. Don't pick your least favourite workout, or the one that needs the most work from you.

Maybe you're wondering why a fitness professional would recommend you pick the workout that you love and that's easy for you to do as a challenge. I want you to remember and connect with the reason you love fitness and running. I want you to have a great first workout of 2019. I want you to be able to look at this workout when you're working on your weaknesses and more challenging workouts and remember, yes, I love working out, my first workout of 2019 was amazing!

So start the year off with a little bit of fun, pick your favourite workout and crush it. Please send me a tweet @srunsfitness and tell me what workout you did and how you crushed it, or as my daughter would say nailed it. 

Why Use a Personal Trainer or Coach

As you know January every year there's a big push from gyms and fitness professionals to get fit and enrol in gym services/coaching. I know I am biased as a personal trainer/coach but I thought I'd share some reasons with you on why you should consider a trainer or coach.

1) If you have a big goal that takes your out of your comfort zone having a professional manage your training plan, schedule and training load can give you an advantage. It allows you to show up and workout without worrying if you're on track or if you're doing the right workouts.

2) The knowledge alone is worth it. Working with a trainer and coach will teach you things you didn't know you needed to know. You'll learn how to train smarter so you can continue running for the long haul.

3) You'll avoid doing the 'wrong' types of training. It's not uncommon when I start working with a new athlete that I see there's holes in their current training program. When you're working with a trainer/coach their job is to make sure you have a balanced training program.

I could go on with several more reasons. Working with a trainer or coach will help elevate your training. However you need to make sure you pick the right coach for you! If you want to learn more about my virtual running/strength training coaching send me an e-mail fitness@stephanieruns.com

Do you have questions or topics you want me to cover? Send me an e-mail and let me know!

If you're looking for a strength training plan geared for runners check out my Training Peak's store. I have several plans up for sale and am always adding more.

If you found this helpful please share this newsletter and encourage your friends to subscribe

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Stephanieruns Fitness

461 North Service Rd West
Oakville Ontario,  L6M 2V5 - Canada

Website: Stephanieruns Fitness

Twitter: @srunsfitness

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Disclaimer: Always seek medical advice before starting an exercise program. This newsletter is not medical advice. Medical advice should be sought from a medical professional. Stephanieruns Fitness assumes no liability for any injuries or damages as a result of the above content.

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