Today I got the First Timers newsletter email from the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon. In the newsletter they talked about pre race anxiety and dealing with it. I for sure am one of those people that gets anxious before a race, and especially a race that is a new distance (like the half marathon for me). One of the things that helps me deal with the anxiety of an upcoming race is to set a goal.
By now I am sure that most people have a goal for their race. Most people sign up with at least some kind of goal in mind. For some people it is to complete the marathon in under 4:00:00. It could be to complete the half marathon in under 1:45:00. It could be to just finish the race or finish the race with no walking breaks. Whatever your goal, it is good to have one. If you don’t have one in mind (or even if you do) you may want to consider a different look on goal setting.
For me, I don’t set a goal. By that I mean I don’t set 1 goal. Every race or event I set at least 3 goals. I always have an A, B and C goal in mind at the start and during the training of each race. Let me explain.
My A goal is always a goal that is probably just out of reach. A goal that if I could achieve it, would be AMAZING, but if I don’t not a big deal. It was design to be just out of reach. For me, this is usually a goal time that is just faster than I think I could or have ever done a race. For the half marathon, my A goal is a time of 1:53:00 or under.
Now the B goal is the realistic time goal. A goal that is what I am 99% sure that I can get. The time that I am targeting in my training. For me in the half marathon, I am going for a time of 2:00:00 or under. Two hours is the time that I am training for with my training program (the Runners World Half Marathon Under 2 hours program). It is a time I should be able to get based on past 5K races as well as training times I have had.
The C goal is your if nothing else, at least I have this goal. My C goal is always to complete the race/event. If something happens during the race or it is just a really bad/off day, I can always rely on my C goal. I always want to just complete the event. So for the half marathon, my C goal is just to cross the finish line. Doesn’t matter the time, just get across that finish line.
By setting 3 goals for each event, it gives me something to really push for, something that I am sure I can achieve and as a last resort a default goal so that I don’t feel like I achieved nothing if the A and B just are not possible. In doing so, it makes me a little less nervous about not hitting a goal.
So, what are your goals for the upcoming event?