I’m a huge believer that goals are what drive people forward, give you purpose in life and make you understand the sorrows and joys of living. Without goals, you don’t experience the drive of working toward something you want. Without goals, you don’t experience the kind of personal failure that sometimes rips you down to the core and makes you rethink everything in life.
In short, goals are really important.
I taught kids about goals as a martial arts instructor, and worked with them to not only help them achieve their goals, but help them start and set and plan for that achievement. A goal without a path to get you there is almost like having no goal at all.
Without a big race keeping me on track, I’ve had to find other ways to keep myself on the road, which……..to be honest……I haven’t really been out there lately……..
But, now that I’m setting some goals, I’ll have more motivation to get out there and train. With my amazing Milestone Pod, I’m able to track so many different aspects of my running that I never had access to before. With that data, I will analyze my form, and see where I need to improve.
In looking at my stats my last race, the Pittsburgh Marathon, I’m not ashamed of them. They are pretty on par with how my training runs had gone, despite me missing the last few training runs.
For my upcoming 5k in August, I’ve decided to look at a few of these metrics and try to improve each of them, as I work toward what I hope will be a 5k PR.
The first metric I’ve decided to pursue is cadence.
Cadence is important for multiple reasons, not only it is the steady beat on the drum, but a quicker cadence also ensures that your feet are not pounding against the ground – which could result in injury. According to the pod, the ideal is around 180 steps per minute. As you can see, at some point during the Pittsburgh Marathon I did hit very close to the ideal, but on average, my cadence was slower by about 20 steps.
The second metric I’m working to improve is stance time, or the amount of time your foot is on the ground. This, along with cadence, should help make me a more efficient runner, which is very important over short distances for speed, and longer distances for overall performance.
According to the pod, many elites are under 200 milliseconds, which can easily be seen when watching them run. The way their legs turnover is incredible to witness. The power, the speed, the agility, and how they seem to almost glide across the pavement. Even at my best during the marathon, I was still much higher than the elites. But on average, very far off from where I should be.
So, how am I going to achieve these goals?
I’m going to start slow, doing runs in smaller chunks to focus on exactly the mechanics I need to and then track my progress. This also means that I’ll be throwing the interval running strategy out the door for a little while to prepare for the 5K. In a few weeks I plan to re-evaluate my goals, and possibly tweak them depending on how it looks.
Are you working on any running-related goals this summer?