Properly set training goals for a successful training experience

Running is a proven way to boost your health, improve focus, find motivation, and build discipline. As a new runner, you probably already have some goals in mind. Maybe you want to lose weight, finish your first half marathon, or enjoy the benefits of running. Whatever your reasons, you’ve just embarked on a journey that can change your life. However, without structure or clear goals, many new runners give up after a few training sessions. Setting short-term goals can give you milestones during your training journey to your larger goal. Learn to set training goals so you can build motivation and confidence that will guide you to the finish line.

The keys to set training goals

The road to success follows many paths. Credit – Jordan Vonderhaar

Often, runners use races as a way to test their training, meet other runners, and feel a sense of accomplishment. As a beginner just starting out, setting achievable training goals is key to maintaining motivation. Your main goal might be months away. When you set training goals along the way you give yourself a better chance at crushing your training plan. Follow the four steps below as you set training goals for the next event on your calendar.

  1. Visualize long-term goals

Do you want to run a marathon or half marathon someday? Training for and completing longer distances will take time, practice, and commitment, especially if you just started running. Setting and committing to a long-term goal gives you something to work toward. Half marathon training might take 4-5 months. Marathon training could take longer. Both of them are possible! A long-term goal helps you visualize what you’re aiming for. Once you know your destination, you can build a training plan that helps you reach that goal. In order to remain motivated and stay on track, you need milestones along the way.

  1. Setting smaller goals

Smaller goals will lead to your ultimate goal.

Those new to running or training for an event may not be aware of the potential pitfalls that can interrupt your training plan. You can get hurt if you push yourself too much too soon. Injury can occur if you don’t properly increase your mileage over time. Your recovery will be slow if you don’t follow our long-run recovery timeline. This could prevent you from reaching your ultimate goal. 

Small term goals have three main purposes: 

  • Steadily building your strength, stamina, and self-confidence
  • Keeps you motivated and on track steady
  • Creates incremental steps that’ll guide you to your main goal. 

You need to gradually build yourself up as you begin. If you start by running 30 minutes a day, slowly build off of that amount. If you begin by running 2-3 miles, then build from that amount. Make sure your body feels good and that you give it the rest it needs. Stick to your training plan as much as you can. Swap a run day with a rest day if needed. But make sure you’re eating healthy, hydrating properly, and getting quality sleep. These 12 tips can help make running that much easier during training.

As your training progresses, you’ll move on to longer distances and increased times. Your short-term goals are like small steps you take to reach your destination. Think of it this way, when you’re climbing a large set of stairs, you can’t just jump from the bottom step to the top. You have to walk up the stairs to reach your destination. Your short-term goals are those small steps that’ll get you to the top.

  1. Achievable and actionable steps

Your goals will empower you!

Training goals that you can achieve will empower you and keep you enthusiastic about running. Numbers and statistics can be a huge friend when you’re setting achievable goals. If you feel good after 3 miles, try 4 or 5 miles next. Don’t jump to 7 or 8 miles. Gamifying your running experience can help you too. There are many apps, like Under Armour’s MapMyRun, that you can use along your running journey. Using apps that measure your time, mph, speed, distance, and heart rate assist you in actively measuring your success. 

When you realize that you’ve achieved the short term goals you’ve set for yourself, you’ll be more inclined to pursue harder goals. Your achievable training goals should take into account the following: 

  • Your current health status. 
  • Any underlying health conditions you may have, such as issues with blood pressure, heart conditions, diabetes, etc.
  • How much time you have to invest into your regimen. 

Enjoy the journey to the finish line! Credit – Jordan Vonderhaar

Personalizing your training regimen instead of following someone else’s will help you achieve the best results for you. If you need to take longer to reach your main goal, that’s fine, this is your journey! The goal is to reach the finish line in a way where you’re healthy, motivated, and happy.

  1. Ask veteran runners for guidance

If you feel intimidated at the thought of talking to a veteran runner, then don’t worry! Remember that once upon a time, they were in your shoes. They have tips and tricks that can help you become more efficient during training, like how to effectively warm-up before a run. They can tell you about the latest gear, hydration and nutrition products, and their personal road to success. You just might make some new friends!

Working your way towards your ultimate goal is a journey in itself. The road won’t always be easy, but setting small goals along the way can help. They decrease your chances of giving up, give your body the time to recover and build muscle, and drastically increases your chances of reaching your ultimate goal. If you’re looking for additional advice, learn how to incorporate the ABCs of goal setting.

Get motivated in the morning to crush your run or workout

What do runners around the world share? A passion for running. There is an inherent motivation for the sport that runs deep within every runner. You’ve seen this passion in your friends when they get up at the crack of dawn for their morning run. You know they’re motivated in the morning. Watching them leaves you inspired and bewildered at the same time. You probably wonder what motivates them to wake up so early. It could be one of the quotes below or a powerful running mantra.

You’ve probably tried setting an alarm, prepping your running gear the night before, and even asked your running buddy for a wake-up call. But nothing worked! Try a motivation boost. Here are a few quotes to help you get motivated in the morning.

Motivational quotes

1.”Always wake up with a smile knowing that today you are going to be a step closer to your dreams.” – Anonymus 

2.”What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.” — Ralph Marston

3.”The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” — Mark Twain

4.“Don’t just dream about winning, train for it!” — Mo Farah

5.”Good morning is not just a word. It’s an action and a belief to live the entire day well. Morning is the time when you set the tone for the rest of the day.” – Anonymus

6.“Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up.” — Dean Karnazes

7.“Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.” — Lance Armstrong

8.“Don’t run to add days to your life. Run to add life to your days.” — Ronald Rook

9.“It was being a runner that mattered, not how fast or how far I could run. The joy was in the act of running and in the journey, not in the destination.” — John Bingham

10.”The biggest sources of motivation are your own thoughts, so think big and motivate yourself to win.” – Unknown

11.”You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” – John C Maxwell 

12.“The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.” — John Bingham

13.”A year from now, you may wish you had started today.” — Karen Lamb

14.“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” — Confucius

15.“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” — Mark Twain

Get motivated to crush those morning runs!

These running quotes can do more than feed your soul – they can motivate your next run. They can help you get out of bed in the wee hours so that you can drink in the freshness and energy of the rising sun. They’re perfect for all runners, whether you’re a veteran or just started running today.


Running in the morning will improve your mental and physical well-being. It can help you form lasting friendships with like-minded running enthusiasts. The next time you don’t want to get out of bed, use the inspirational quotes above to get you motivated in the morning. They will help prepare your mind along with your body for your next morning run. Don’t forget to warm up before your run. Complete these 4 stretches before you take off.

Take the first steps toward a healthier lifestyle when you start running today

Did you just discover running? Welcome! Did you start running again after a long layoff? Glad to have you back. Is 2021 the year you start running? Great news! The advice below is geared towards first-time runners, but can be applied to those returning from a break or injury. Wherever you are in your running journey, you’re about to embark on something amazing. It will include countless miles, early mornings, new friends, and plenty of finish lines! Take our advice, apply it to your journey, and start running today! Remember: every runner starts at square one.

Pro tip: don’t train alone! Learn how you can convince your friend to train for a half marathon with you.

Practice good form

It’s important to practice good form when you start running. Our advice and the downloadable infographic will get you started! Don’t start too fast. You want to remain in control and keep your body relaxed. Focus on your breathing and staying loose. Focus on what’s ahead of you, but pay attention to all of your surroundings. Also, make sure:

  • your legs and feet land underneath your body, not in front
  • your arms slide forward and back, not side to side
  • your elbows are at a 90-degree angle
  • your fists aren’t clenched
  • your shoulders are low and loose

Set a goal and find a training plan

Set smaller goals that will lead you to your large goal. Credit – Ed Sparks

One of the first things you want to do is set a goal. That could be a particular distance, a specific amount of time, or a certain event. If you’re just starting out, an ideal goal distance would be a 5K or 10K. Training for one of these distances gives you a taste of what running is all about. It’ll teach the basics that you can then apply to longer distances, like a half marathon. Whatever goal you set, you have to commit to it. Make sure you set smaller goals that lead to your large goal to keep you motivated and on track.

Make running easier

Running is simple, you put one foot in front of the other. But there are so many ways for you to make running easier. Take proper care of your body, especially when you’re just beginning. Getting more sleep, taking time off, and hydrating properly are just a few of these 12 tips that’ll make running easier!

Don’t skip the warm-up

An effective warm-up can help prevent injury.

An effective warm-up is crucial, especially if you start running today. You’re asking something new from your body and you want to make sure your muscles are awake. A proper warm-up can help prevent injury and keep cramps from occurring. Not sure where to start? Follow this 10-minute warm-up routine.

Stay motivated

Sometimes the motivation just isn’t there. The chances of skipping a run or missing a workout are higher with first-time runners. But you’re not alone! All runners face this dilemma. One of the best ways to keep your motivation level high is to find an accountability partner. This person will meet you early in the morning and make sure y’all complete the run. Yes, you guessed it, you’ll hold them accountable too! Here are 5 excuse busters that can help keep you on track.

Don’t miss your morning run

Your running journey will carry you to the finish line. Credit – Ed Sparks

Getting up for your early morning run can be difficult, especially for first-time runners. Completing an early morning run really sets up the rest of your day nicely! But the battle with your alarm clock is real. This is the case for veteran runners too! Use these 6 tips and they’ll help you get out the door for your morning run.

Long-run recovery timeline

You’re logging miles. Crushing your early morning run. Your weekend long runs are getting longer. What’s left? Learn how to properly recover from your long run with this recovery timeline. This long-run recovery timeline will help expedite the recovery process and help get you ready for whatever’s next!

This useful advice will help put first-time runners on the road to success. But if you’re returning from a long break or recovering from an injury, this information is just as beneficial. Start running today and get ready for an amazing running journey!