How to Set Goals as a Runner or Triathlete

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With the new year starting, it’s a good time to set aside some time to sit down and reflect on the past year and what you would like to achieve in the next twelve months. You may have questions about how to set goals as a runner or triathlete, so let’s discuss what that covers.


At the beginning of every year, you hear about new year resolutions. But ever since I was young and growing up in a family business, we never wrote down or set resolutions. We kept a binder of projections for each year. And that practice has stuck with me.

Setting and writing down projections for the coming year will help keep you motivated and accountable to your goals. Writing your yearly projections is great tradition to keep for the beginning of every year and can be used for career/business, personal, and athletic goals. They are meant to help you plan what you intend to do in the coming year and how you will improve and grow.

While projections are usually for business and finance, you can also apply it to your athletic goals and planning your race calendar for the next season, being sure to consider your race goals, distances and locations, strengths and weaknesses, and available time.

Before writing down your projections for the coming year, first look over last year’s projections. See what you’ve accomplished, what you didn’t, and what you’ve partially completed. I find adding a few notes to each one helps me better understand why some goals where easily accomplished while others weren’t.

To get you started, think about the following:

  • Your past race results
  • Possible upcoming races
  • What do you think went well in both your training and racing?
  • What do you think can use improvement in both your training and racing?
  • Is there a race distance you’re thinking of trying for the first time?
  • Is there a race distance you want to focus on?
  • What do you feel are your strong points?
  • What do you feel are your weaknesses?

Looking for guidance in your upcoming goals?
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