The best way to plan your 2023 running goals

by | Dec 19, 2022 | Technical Articles

One of the best bits about New Year is setting goals and targets for your running. What will you achieve in 2023?

Goal setting for runners

Running is a unique sporty hobby in that nobody tells you what to do. For the most part, you’re left to your own devices, taking responsibility for your goals, events, races, training, and rest periods.

Even those runners who have a coach or belong to a running club maintain a lot of autonomy over their running. This is pretty different to most other sports, like team sports, swimming, or weight lifting sports.

How to set running goals

It’s easy to set arbitrary running goals, but it takes a smart approach to make them meaningful. After all, any of us could right now declare that 2023 will be the year we run 10 marathons. But would we? Why would we want to? How would we train for them? And how are we going to sort the logistics of 10 big races in a year?

A better approach is to make it personal and meaningful. First, decide what you really want to achieve with your running in 2023. Is it a specific event like the Windsor Half Marathon? Or a set distance (regardless of how you achieve it)? Or perhaps you really want to work on a pace goal: getting a sub-2 hour half marathon or good for age marathon time?

Now look at your own calendar and the race calendar to identify which running events will help you achieve your goal. If you want to do a particular race, you’ll need to get that in the diary (and enter it!) But even if your goal isn’t specific to an event, you could enter running races along the way to keep your training on track.

How to make your goals stick

Being organised with training is one key factor in achieving your goals. But research tells us that accountability plays a huge factor. One study looked at the difference between telling nobody about your goal, vs telling someone you consider “low status”, and telling someone you really respect. The group who shared their goal with someone they respected were more likely to achieve their goal. (1)

So be sure to share your 2023 running goal with someone you respect, whether that’s your coach, partner, or close friend.

Use a tracking tool to organise and record your training progress. It doesn’t matter what you use (an app, software, online calendar, pen and paper). The most significant thing is choosing a method that you enjoy, find easy, and will use consistently.

The best running goals for 2023

Make 2023 the year you choose a running goal that challenges you in at least one area. After all, what’s the point of dedicating so much time to running if you never push yourself outside your comfort zone?

For many of you, this will mean choosing a distance that you’ve never run before. Half marathon races are a brilliant way to challenge yourself beyond your long-run zone, without committing to a full marathon.

Half marathon running goals

Spring and Autumn are the most popular time of year for half marathon races in the UK, but we think an Autumn marathon is your best bet. If you choose an Autumn half marathon like the Windsor Half Marathon (in September) you can do all of your half marathon training in the pleasant weather and long daylight hours of Summer!

Take a look at the Windsor Half Marathon website today and mark your diaries for 2023! Click here to enter today 

1 https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2019-45131-001