Running Goals: Macro Versus Micro
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Are your running goals defined by times and race distances? Or do you have other criteria?
Falling short of a goal forces us to re-evaluate.
Time and distance goals are used to achieve my bigger goals in running. They are tools to chase moments where I truly feel alive. Goals can be differentiated into macro versus micro.
Micro goals are simple and measurable. Examples are:
- Run your first 5km
- Run a sub 40 minute 10km
- Complete 100km ultra marathon
- Cover 80km in a training week
- Run every day for 30 days
These goals give your something objective to aim for. Help guide your training and racing. Provide structure in what you do.
Does it matter if you hit these goals?
Reality of Running Goals
Most people don’t really care how fast your race is. That’s a good thing.
Racing 10km in 39:58 versus 40:03 may feel like a big deal to yourself. It usually doesn’t rate that much to others. Those who care about you tend to care more about what the goal means to you. Not about the specifics of the goal.
Will achieving the goal change your life?
It’s the process that can change your life. Not the goal. We can bring up exceptions to this. Such as having to run a certain to qualify for another race or gain team selection. This isn’t the case for most runners.
But don’t use this to down play the importance of setting goals.
What Are Macro Goals?
Macro goals are your ‘why‘
Your goal doesn’t have to be massively profound. It can be as simple as you enjoy chasing fast times in a race. Other examples can include:
- You want to feel healthier
- You enjoy the act of running
- Running clears your mind
- It just feels right
- You chase the feeling of achievement
You can get more in depth and detailed. The important concept is this is truly why we run.
Understanding your macro goal means it’s easier to make choices. If your macro goal is about gaining a qualification time then you can choose to sacrifice some other aspects of your lifestyle. If your goal is to be healthy for your family, then you can be comfortable that running 10km is fine versus 15km. It comes back to what you really want.
My Own Macro Running Goals
I chase a certain feeling. That feeling is the moment when I feel truly alive.
Everything in my life is enhanced when I feel like this.
This feeling comes from moments. These moments occur when:
- the noise is stripped away
- the task feels impossible
- time feels distorted
- I am broken down to my core
Running provides me the opportunity to achieve this. It feels innately natural for me to use running to chase this feeling. Something special happens here. It is in this space where there is an interplay between success and failure.
This is why I run.