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The Importance of short-term goals

short-term goals

Applying short-term goals in your running training cycles – Everyone knows that setting yourself a goal is of great importance, however discussing and achieving short-term goals is in truth just as important.

Running – The Important need for short-term goals

In working towards and achieving goals, it is necessary to understand the emotion and psychology behind the athlete’s needs.

Whether you coach or you are an athlete, it is good to know how to go about having a plan to achieve the goals.

Part of this plan, is the implementing and the achieving of short-term goals.

Planning short-term goals

Achieving short-term goals are of strategic importance. When an athlete is working towards a long-term goal, the achieving of this goal can seem to be further away once the athlete’s physical fatigue builds-up. As the athlete gets closer to tipping point, of where over-training becomes a distinct possibility, this is when the athlete is most vulnerable, and mentally the athlete’s confidence can be affected.

This is where, for example, the running of a 4k time-trial can be rather handy. At the start of the training cycle, we normally recommend the 4k time-trial, and if you now run the 4k, there is every possibility that the athlete will go faster.

Running is very much about confidence, and with the achieving of a time improvement at a set point in the training cycle, the athlete will have achieved a short-term goal. The intention must be to achieve the short-term goal, so that all the training has been worthwhile.

There is no point in not achieving the short-term goal, so if in the preceding days to the test, it is necessary to take extra rest, then do so. The fatigue that you may be feeling will be associated to the training up and until this point.

The athlete should get a boost and that is the importance of a short-term goal

Once an athlete becomes despondent, it is more difficult to get them to perform at the level that they would ideally like to perform at.

Anticipation and fulfillment

It is important to recognise the anticipation involved in doing the test to boost the confidence at this point of the training. To fail would have a negative affect and that is definitely not the plan. This in itself is like ‘digging the hole deeper’, if the athlete were to not succeed at their short-term goal.

With our 10k Training Programs we utilise the 4k time-trial distance,  and for very good reason.

At the start of the program or cycle, you do a 4k time-trial as an assessment or marker, this is important, as it gives your current level of fitness, so when you do the 4k time-trial as a short-term goal, you can compare it to the last time you did the 4k t-t.

You are not racing a 5k or 10k, to compare to previous Personal Bests (PB’s) but to a distance and time-trial that is more current.

In achieving a faster 4k time, it is relevant, as you have improved on the last 4k and you will have achieved a short-term goal. When an athlete is tired, they often need a mental boost, and this short-term goal should provide this.

Fulfillment in the importance of short-term goals

article by Gavin Doyle aka TheEd




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