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Goals & Objectives in Running

author image Marcus Scott
Marcus Scott has been writing on international politics, local news and culture since 2004. He has written articles, op-eds, columns and edited for student organization presses and blogs, including the Roosevelt Institution Defense and Diplomacy blog. In 2005 and 2006 Scott attended the Journalism Education Association national conferences. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in international relations from the University of California, Davis.
Goals & Objectives in Running
A woman running on dune trails near the beach. Photo Credit Raul_Mellado/iStock/Getty Images

Running can be a very rewarding activity on many levels. It is beneficial to your health, in practical terms, in cross training for fitness and in competition itself. Having goals and objectives for your own running routine can shape and focus your workouts and enhance your results. To create goals or identify objectives, you first need to ask yourself why you are running and what you hope to accomplish. Once you identify the purpose of your running, you can work on meeting tangible objectives.

Training for Fitness

One of the most popular reasons to run is to assist in general fitness. Running has a two-fold benefit of working many of your body's muscles to include the feet, legs and core, as well as elevating and working out the cardiovascular system. The cardiovascular system refers to your heart and veins, and how efficient and strong your heart is at distributing oxygen throughout this system to your muscles. Keeping your heart rate elevated through extended exercise, such as running, is one way to do this. Running also burns energy in the form of calories, which can aid in weight loss.

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Training for Work

Some vocations, usually law enforcement, military or related jobs, will hold you to a certain standard of physical fitness. This standard can include running. Identifying objectives and goals for these reasons is simple, because most jobs will have very specific running requirements. Each branch of the U.S. military, for example, tests on a timed distance run between 1.5 and 3 miles, depending on what branch you join. The key here is to identify a goal time or score for your particular required distance, then break it down into smaller components like six sets of 400 m for a 1.5 mile run, and run each consecutive 400 m at your targeted pace.

Training tor Running

If you are a track athlete or aspiring event runner, you may seek to run to simply improve your run. Similar to training for a job, training to get faster or stronger, or to increase your endurance, is a common goal for runners. Here you will want to identify where you are in terms of capabilities for speed and distance. This can include what your mile time is, whether you can run three miles non-stop and so on. Next, determine where you would like to be. Keep this realistic, so the goals you set are achievable. Once you achieve your goals, you can move on to creating new ones and achieving those as well.

Running for Fun

If you aren't looking to run for your health, your vocation or competition, but you still feel the urge to get out and pound some ground, you may just want to run for fun. Try running in new locales, with friends, with a dog or even to and from work. Focus on keeping your routes fresh and the scenery different each time you run, in order to avoid monotony.

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