As I’ve dug in to the Road to a PR series, it’s been a laughable to realize that my body is revolting on this attempted PR. My hormones dropped, my fatigue ramped up and my knee began to hurt for the first time since Ireland three years ago.
None of it’s a deal breaker, I’m still ready to rock, but I need something to look forward too besides a PR. Luckily, as long as I’m able to run, I’m a pretty dang happy runner and I think we all need a reminder that fast isn’t the only way to be successful.
Looking for the series? Here it is:
Choosing your race pace >>
Picking the right race for your goal >>
Creating your training plan >>
Why you need a base building phase>>
Safely adding speed work >>
Why Peak Week matters >>
How to Taper the right way >>
10 Non-PR Running Goals
It’s not uncommon for me to run 1600 miles a year while doing only one race, so PR’s stopped being a driving force for me. But they are fun…so when that’s not going to happen, you can enjoy a practice race and pick another running goal!
Here are 10 fun goals to keep you motivated, when the clock isn’t what you want to race for.Pacing a Friend
Want to enjoy the race atmosphere without the pressure? How about helping a friend reach their goal of a new pace or distance, which you’ve run easily a few times previously. You’ll get to enjoy the sites, be their cheerleader and remember that no matter what your finish time is the act of showing up is pretty spectacular.
Running a New Distance/Race Style
It’s an automatic PR if you run a new distance, which means you can simply enjoy the first go round knowing that you’ll be able to improve next time around. Try a 10 mile road race, a Spartan race, a trail race or another totally new to you distance. You can bet I’ll be using this technique soon!
Want to more kids drinking clean water in Africa? Want more kids eating 3 meals a day in the US? Find a great charity to work with and you’ll find it easier to put in the miles. I worked with Run10Feed10 for a few years, but there are so many others where they donate for every mile that you run.Ahhh I do not miss the never ending sweat of my Miami days, this is circa 2012…notice the sweat shine at 5AM!
Snag A Running Partner
As a solo runner, I know many of you enjoy your running time as a chance to disconnect and think. But there’s simply too much research proclaiming the benefits of running with others to ignore it. Get over your fear of joining a running group, put forth a little extra effort to meet up with a friend one day each week or start making your get-togethers more fitness focused.
Instead of simply focusing on running for speed building, start testing your strength in other areas. Studies continue to show that adding plyometrics can increase your speed. Try adding 1 rep every week to the number of box jumps, burpees or even pull ups you currently can do.
Dial In Consistency
What happens when your body no longer allows you to run the way you used to? I know this all too well, but so does Lisa of Run Wiki who was far faster than I’ll likely ever be and now is focusing on simply hitting 5 runs a week. If her disease won’t allow her to PR, then she can still find the triumph in showing up, the joy in moving and the community that running provides.Ramping Up Nutrition
Maybe now is the time to focus on the nutrition that will make your runs feel better or help you lose the weight that got you running to start with. Anti-inflammatory foods can truly revolutionize your running by enhancing recovery which makes it easier to run more often and consistency creates result.s
Diversify Your Route
With your eyes closed, you can map out the route from your door through the neighborhood and back to equal 3 miles. Repetition is comforting, but it can also lead to boredom. Set a goal to mix it up once a week, turn right instead of left, hop in the car and actually run somewhere else entirely, go wild!A Running Streak
While you know how I feel about streaking, a short term streak might be exactly what you need to get addicted to that sweaty runner’s high. It forces you to start thinking more creatively about how much time you have in the day and to enjoy running in random new places to make it happen.
Race With Someone
Maybe you want to attempt a first race with your spouse, your kids, your girlfriends! Try changing up your partners for an entirely new race experience. This shifts the focus from what’s happening on your watch to the people around you, reminding you to laugh, giggle even, and enjoy the journey. I think Coach K has this dialed in!
Sure you could say that those who can’t do, teach and thus those who can’t win find other goals. I just don’t agree with that. I love that running is an inclusive sport and I love that running doesn’t have to be about winning a race.
We win every time we lace up.
Do you ever set non-time related goals?
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