Adam Hickey blog: The importance of setting goals
05 June 2013
In his latest blog, running group leader and international distance runner Adam discusses the importance of goal setting and talks about his experiences of incorporating goal setting into his group runs.
"I’m sure a lot of you reading this will already incorporate goal-setting into your training or coaching but surprisingly this is something that many runners overlook. Goals can be an excellent motivator, especially for beginners who may struggle during their first few training sessions. A common method of goal-setting which can be applied to running is the SMART principle, enabling you to set goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Based.
The goal of a lot of my runners is to run 5km without stopping by the end of the August which ticks all of the boxes of a SMART goal. Obviously you need to consider their current state of fitness but it is Specific – be able to run 5km non-stop, this helps them know exactly what they need to do to accomplish their goal. It’s Measurable – can you measure the outcome? It’s Attainable – this group leaders have to judge for themselves when considering their current state of fitness and their background etc. It’s Relevant – it needs to be relevant to the individual so that they are motivated to achieve it, and finally, it’s Time-Based – they have set themselves a deadline by which to run their 5km which in turn can improve motivation when times get hard.
One of the best ways I have found to help keep my runners on track for their 5km is by incorporating a local parkrun into their training. For those of you not familiar to the parkrun concept, they are free, timed 5km runs that take place every week all over the world and are open to runners of all abilities. Alex Thornton and his Southend Parkrun organising team are fantastic and have a really friendly, relaxed atmosphere at each of their runs which makes for a perfect environment for first-timers to try a 5km run. Two of my runners, Kylie and Eva, completed their first non-stop 5km there a couple of weekends ago in 35 minutes 27 seconds which was an absolutely fantastic achievement for the pair and they returned to the group full of motivation, absolutely buzzing with excitement and have encouraged other members to take part in their first 5km! I’ll let you know how they get on!
Editor's note: Well done to Adam who recently won the Victory Park 5 Mile road race in 23:36 which puts him top of the UK rankings for 2013!
Adam Hickey balances work at Southend West School Sports Partnership with being a Run England group leader and an international distance runner himself!
He has represented England and Great Britain at cross country and triathlon in European and World Championships all over the world including Kenya and Japan. He studied for a degree in Sport Science and Management whilst training for athletics, cross country and triathlon in Loughborough where he also gained experience of coaching the University Triathlon Club.