Effective Strategies for Achieving Running Goals in 2017

Achieving Running Goals in 2017 & Coaching Giveaway!

What are your 2017 running goals?

I have a few in mind already…as I am sure you do. The end of a year causes us to reflect upon what we achieved and naturally guides our thoughts to dreaming about what will come next year.

What matters just as much as the goals you set – or even more – is having an actionable plan. Setting a bunch of goals for the entire year without a plan of how to set them, track your progress, or achieve them does not set you up for success. These tips will help you develop an actionable plan for achieving running goals in 2017 – and at the end of the post, I have an exciting giveaway for you!

Effective Strategies for Achieving Running Goals in 2017

Divide the Year Up

One year is a long time and life circumstances can change significantly over 52 weeks. According to the book The 12 Week Year, the sheer length of a calendar year is so long that people tend to procrastinate on their goals. So rather than focus on a full year, dividing your year into quarters will help you focus more on your goals. You set new goals each quarter, which fosters more progress and growth than just a short yearly list of goals.

This works well for runners in particular: divide your year into winter, spring, summer, and fall goals. One quarter may be devoted to base building, then another quarter may be specific training for your goal marathon.  Quarterly goals also allow time for life to happen; if a spring injury derails your summer goals, you can reassess and pursue those goals in the fall instead.

Journal It

Do you keep a training log? Writing down your workouts – whether you use paper and pen, an online log such as Final Surge or Training Peaks, or a blog – causes you to reflect upon your workouts. A training log reveals patterns and shows your strengths and weaknesses. Writing down your workouts over the course of a training cycle also helps you track your progress and set appropriate goals.

A journal is also a form of personal accountability. Seeing “skipped” or “no workout” for several days in a row will motivate you to put in the hard work! 

Focus on Your Strengths

A reflection on your past year’s training and races will reveal your areas of strength. Do you crush it at the 5K and track workouts? Do you prefer the marathon and cringe at the idea of short and fast repeats? Your areas of strength are a good starting point for your goals – you are already setting yourself up for success!

Often, your strengths are also the things that bring you joy. Do you really just hate the marathon and don’t do well because you can’t commit to the training? Then stop setting goals in the marathon and shift your focus to shorter races or ultras! There’s no rule saying that to be a runner you need to run marathons or 5Ks every year.

Set goals based on areas of running or fitness which you enjoy and excel in (which are usually the same). Focus your strengths and follow your heart.

Hire a Coach

What exactly can a running coach do for you? She can help you train out of a plateau, figure out your fueling and hydration, help you crush your time goals, and prepare you mentally for your race

A coach will also schedule your workouts for you (which saves you time and energy!), adjust your plan as often as needed, and keep you accountable and motivated during the ups and downs of training.

This Runner's Recipes 2017 Goals Giveaway - Win One Free Month of Individualized Run Coaching!

Coaching Giveaway!

I am giving away one free month of my Basic One-on-One Coaching Package ($95 value)! This package includes an initial consultation, monthly training plan (adapted throughout the month as needed), weekly feedback, a check in call, nutritional guidance, customized workouts, strength training/injury prevention, and more. This is my most popular training plan! 

There’s no commitment to stay on for additional coaching; the winner can use this month to pick a coach’s brain, try new workouts, and get feedback on your running, or use it as a starting point for 2017 training.

To enter: Use the Rafflecopter below to submit your entries and answer the question: what’s your big 2017 running goal?  
Rules: Entrants must be 18 years or older and in good health to run. The giveaway is open through midnight (Pacific time) on January 1, 2017. The winner will be chosen at random and contacted via email on January 2.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Linking up with Coaches’ Corner!

What are your big running goals for 2017?

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59 Responses

  1. I havent set any goals for next year but when I do I think Im gonna stick with shorter goals like I did at the end of this year- which definitely goes along with your 12 week suggestion! Not sure what I will focus on in the winter, probably just continuing to build a base back and keep up with strength training.

    1. I think shorter goals are the way to go – especially in winter, when it’s a better time to focus on the little things like base building. Long term goals guide those shorter goals, but shorter goals provide the stepping stones to get there.

  2. Hiring a coach was definitely one of the very best things I did…especially since I had no idea what I was doing when I first transitioned from running to triathlon! I have learned so much from my coach (and so much about myself) in these past three years that would have taken a lot longer on my own.

    I’m looking forward to see what you will achieve in 2017! Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

    1. The perspective a coach brings so much to training! You have so clearly thrived under your coach and I can’t wait to see what 2017 brings for you! Merry Christmas and happy New Year!

  3. My biggest goal for the coming year is to really listen to my body and tweak my nutrition and workouts accordingly. I got much better at doing this in the latter half of 2016 but there is always room for improvement!

    1. Those are fantastic goals – focusing on those two things helped me PR in both the marathon and the half this year. It’s always a work in progress but well worth the effort!

  4. Just finished my first trimester 🙂 So have a healthy pregnancy and keep up as much running as I can. A half in February and something bigger in late fall.

  5. I was supposed to run my first marathon in 2016, NYC. 11 weeks into training I got sidelined with a stress fracture in my fibula. So my big goal is to be healthy when I toe the start line line in NYC in 2017!

  6. This is such great advice! I never thought to look at my training by quarter, but it makes so much sense and helps make the year a lot less overwhelming. I started using the Believe Training Journal this year and it’s been a game-changer…I love being able to have all of my workouts in one place, it definitely keeps me honest!

    And what an awesome giveaway! My 2017 running goals…well, I’d love to PR the half marathon but I’m a little bit scared to push for that! Otherwise I want to stay consistent and healthy, and maybe do my 2nd marathon in the fall!

    1. You should push for a half PR! After your first marathon, you have such a good aerobic base and know how to push harder for longer, so pushing in the half marathon is “easier” (so to speak – or at least less intimidating!). A second marathon is a great goal also!

  7. My goal is just to improve as a runner throughout the year and hopefully stay injury-free. I realize this is a tough one because sh*t happens sometimes and you get injured no matter how hard you try, but I’m really going to focus on recovery so that if it does happen, I can say I did my best to prevent it. So, I guess my goal is to not have to DNS or defer any races due to injury!

  8. You know what’s so weird? My running goal for next year is to keep running LESS. Ha ha! I need to get healthy. I can feel my body starting to rebel against me (it’s been giving me signals for the last year) and so I’ve decided to listen. I’ve been keeping up with my 100 push-ups and just started implementing bicep curls. I feel much more well-rounded now especially with my veggie eating!

    1. That’s a great running goal – health should be first and foremost! Plus, you know how I’m a big believer in moderate mileage because it balances health with still hitting those running goals. And yay for veggie eating!

  9. I want to come back from my recent knee surgery strong and healthy and break my marathon PR by 15 min! (I wasn’t happy with my Portland Marathon time in 2014 at all..)

  10. These are GREAT tips! I am a little bit hesitant to set too many goals for 2017 so I love the idea of splitting them up by quarter. So far I am thinking about breaking 20 minutes in the 5k, breaking 1:35 in the half, and then mayyybe my “holy grail” goal of a BQ. I’ve definitely been playing with the idea of hiring a coach so fingers crossed 🙂

    1. Thank you! If you can break 20 minutes in the 5K and 1:35 in the half, you are definitely should be able to BQ! My half PR when I BQ’ed was a 1:38 and many runners I know were around the same mark. Definitely contact me about coaching if you don’t win! 🙂

  11. I have a goal of running a half marathon in 2:00 hrs and thinking about signing up for my first full marathon.

  12. Oh man, I’m still so up in the air about my goals for 2017. After I watched a movie about a triathlon now I’m all like, “can I swim?’ *pushing that idea out of my head immediately.* I was thinking about an ultra but I’m not sure if this is the year for that for me. I dunno. So many things up in the air.

  13. I signed up for my first marathon, so that is my big goal in the first half of the year. After that, I want to become a bit more adventurous and explore more trails and places farther away from where I live and just run 🙂

  14. Now that I’ve done a marathon I’m not really sure where I want my goals to go and what direction I want to go with my running. Time to do some reflection! I would love to work on speed this year (and learn how not to hate speed work) and maybe try doing the 5k and 10k which I’ve never raced before.

  15. My goals are to stay consistent with my running and get a little faster throughout the year. Would love to train for a marathon as well.

  16. Well, my goals kind of feel in limbo at this point, as I just sustained a major ankle sprain over the weekend. Doctor said no half marathon in January like I was planning.
    Pushing forward and hoping to run my first half in May! I hope to stick to my plan and come through stronger! 🙂

  17. I would like to run faster. I did a half marathon in 1:56 but it would sweet to knock my time down to 8 minute miles or less.

  18. My running goals are to get back to running on the regular again. A month of coaching would be a great way to get me started.

  19. Running goals for 2017: run a half marathon in under 2 hours and use a planned vacation in Australia to run the Great ocean road marathon (the 14 km part).

  20. I ran my first half marathon in 2016, so I’d like to beat last years time when I run the same race in 2017. Oh, and I’d like to run at least two halfs in 2017 as well. ?

  21. I want to run a marathon in 2017. Unfortunately we are moving across the US from the beautiful PNW to the hot and humid south (Louisiana) in 2017. I think my main goal is really to survive the move and keep up my running. I’m so scared that we will move down there and I will slow down on this running thing and give up on it. (I haven’t always been a runner, maybe the past 2 years or so I’ve really got into it.)

  22. After completing my first half marathon at the beginning of last year, I’d like to set a PR on the half marathon and run a full marathon in october. Unfortunately I wasn’t injury free last year, and the problem isn’t completely solved yet, but fingers crossed that I don’t have to stop running because of it this year.

  23. I’m a month postpartum now and my goal is to run the Sun Mountain 25K in May. I’m slow to begin with, so my goal for that race in particular is just to be able to run (rather than walk) most of it. So it’s a pretty chill goal that has more to do with staying active and avoiding postpartum depression than anything else. 🙂

  24. My big running goal for the year is to run my longest-distance trail race. Still have to decide if I will stick with the local 38K or go for a 50K.

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