Back-To-School Running Goals
Ready to set some fresh running goals for the new term?
School’s back in, and you may well find yourself with extra time for running. So how about setting some new goals to celebrate Autumn? Here are 7 running goals you could work towards this month.
1 Set a consistency streak
Has the Summer break side lined your running habit? Use the Autumn months to reintroduce a sense of routine. What matters most isn’t how many times per week you run, but how consistent you are. Set a realistic goal of 2-4 times per week and aim for regularity.
2 Add in speed work
We all know that speed work is part of a good running routine, but not all of us do it. Make this the month you start. Speed work can be formal (track sessions, mile repeats, intervals) or informal (fartlek/speed play). What matters is that you regularly push the intensity of your running.
3 Enter a race
Need the focus of a big goal? There’s nothing like entering a running race to add some excitement to your running routine. Autumn is a fantastic time for races – from 5Ks and 5 milers upwards. Hopefully you have already entered the Windsor 10K or the Windsor Half!
4 Start stretching
You know you should stretch more – so why not make it a promise to yourself this Autumn? Stretching or mobility work (active stretching) aids recovery and can keep you running injury-free as you increase your mileage. Focus on legs, hips, glutes, calves and lower back.
5 Neaten up your nutrition
Good nutrition isn’t all about losing weight. Focusing on your diet can benefit your sleep, mood, energy levels and running performance. Revisit the basics: are you eating plenty of vegetables and fruits? Do you eat a bit of protein with every meal? Are your portion sizes in line with your goals? Is your snacking habit where you want it to be?
6 Do some strength work
Strength training is hugely beneficial to runners, and has extra benefits for women in terms of bone health and metabolic rate. One or two short strength sessions a week will improve your posture, power, and ability to stay free from injury. It doesn’t have to be dumbbells and kettlebells, bodyweight workouts count!
7 Get more sleep…
Isn’t it ironic that the recovery tool we all have access to is the one that so often eludes us? Getting your sleep habits in order will have a big impact on your emotional wellbeing, energy, eating habits, and long-term health outcomes. Aim for 7-9 hours a night in a quiet, dark bedroom – with no phones allowed!