Do You Set Race Goals?


Awesome Go Girl Runner, me and Dawn from MU Health Care crossing the finish line of the 5K! Credit: UltraMax Sports

Goals, goals, goals. They’re awesome little beasts. Race goals can push you to go faster, train longer or push harder (so many sexual innuendos there…). We’ve gone over the basics of good goal-setting before, but in the past couple of weeks we FBGs have been lamenting a lot about race goals and the “real” reason for doing events. FBG Kristen was touched at the support and encouragement at her Danskin Triathlon, and I, just a week ago, threw my 5K race goal out the window to enjoy the experience and not kill myself with the weather. Which got us wondering…are you stickler for race goals? Or more play-it-by-ear with how you feel and the race-day conditions? So tell us!

Obviously we do these types of endurance events to have fun and we always listen to our bodies, so I guess we’re in the “Yeah…” camp. Please feel free to elaborate on your answer in the comments, ladies! Would love to hear your thoughts about race goals! —Jenn


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  1. Celeste says:

    I think it’s good to have a goal, but in my experience, runners get obsessed with time and often feel upset after a race if they didn’t meet a number they had in their mind.

  2. Annie Johnson says:

    I always train for a race, and I always do my best, but I never set a goal for time because I truly do not know how I will be feeling on race day, or what the conditions will be. Having fun and being grateful that I am able to participate are my goals, and those goals are always met.
    Thank you for your great website.


  3. Sarah McConkie says:

    I don’t know! I have done a few 5Ks without really training beforehand or knowing what I was doing, but now I’m on a set training schedule, have read up quite a bit about how to train right, and will run my first half marathon in about 5 weeks. I’ve got a goal in mind, but I don’t know if that’s just going to set me up to be disappointed if I don’t make it—which is ridiculous because training for and completing my first half marathon is a HUGE accomplishment period! So anyway. I’m not sure how serious I should be about my goal.

  4. I actually just ran the Rock N Roll Half Marathon on San Diego today and I found that setting goals ahead of time pushed me when I know I could have so easily fell behind and started lagging. Knowing what I wanted my time to be helped push me when it would have been easier to “adapt” them, as I normally would.

  5. Jen says:

    I often use the goal of “not walking” for my races rather than a time goal. I want to finish close to my typical times, and I hope to go faster, but I just run as a part of a big running group and enjoy the time rather than push to meet a specific time.