Rachael Arends' 2019 Goal-Setting Tips

Screen Shot 2018-12-27 at 2.48.19 PM.png

Rachael Arends was our overall winner in Onward Shay! Boise Marathon, 2018. We are pleased to have her offer up her training tips & tricks, and encouraging women and men alike to reach their running goals.

Cheers to the New Year! Here’s to an exciting, adventure-filled year ahead! I hope you all had a wonderful time making memories with your family and friends this holiday season.

What’s in store for you this New Year?

Are you the type to make resolutions for yourself? I am a planner, and always have been. As far as running is concerned, my race calendar is usually scheduled a year in advance, especially if it involves traveling. I’ve been a runner my whole life, and although my ambition to race has admittedly moved in ebbs and flows due to life circumstances, such as having a baby, starting a new job, etc., I’ve always wanted to have a reason to stay in shape.

A new year can be a fresh start, so I say make the best of it and mark a race on the ol’ calendar! Give yourself a goal to look forward to! When the weather is cold and the roads are covered in snow and ice, it isn’t easy to muster up the energy and determination to take that first step out the door. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am not a fan of cold weather. That being said, I’m sure you’ve all heard the saying, “You’ll never regret going for a run”, and it’s the absolute TRUTH!  Cold weather or not. The first step out the door is always the hardest, but when you have a training plan to stick to, the motivation to check the day’s run off the training calendar is usually enough to bundle up and hit the road! I have an old, trusty treadmill in my garage that I turn to when weather conditions make running outside impractical as well. Whether it’s a gym membership, stationary bike, or cross-training, do what you gotta do and set yourself up to succeed.

Where are you at now, and what are your running goals for the upcoming year?

Have you always wanted to run a 5k, or have you ever wondered if you should take that leap of faith and conquer your first marathon?  It’s best to be realistic with your goals, and set yourself up to succeed. If it’s your first marathon, for example, don’t focus on hitting a certain time goal as much as crossing the finish line.  I set my goals in layers, so if life gets in the way/injury occurs/my training doesn’t go as planned, OR a race day hiccup throws me off kilter, I will still feel that I’ve succeeded at some level. The minimum, of course, is to FINISH the race; secondly, to run a time within ten minutes of my goal; and then, of course, is the eye on the prize goal: to hit the time I’ve trained the past few months for.  Every course is different, every race is different; some things we can control, and others we cannot.  The 2018 Boston Marathon is a prime example of that; Mother Nature threw a wrench in basically every single runner’s race day plan.  

At a minimum, I wouldn’t suggest running a marathon without a 12 week training plan… and that’s only if you are in good shape at the start of it.  (Running at least 25-30 miles per week, with a solid base to build on). A beginner’s 5k training program will last around 8 weeks, whereas a first-time marathoner should plan on closer to 16-18 weeks to train. It’s a big commitment, but that’s the beauty of goals: only YOU get to set them, and only YOU can determine whether or not you have what it takes to put the time and effort forth to accomplish those goals!

So tell me, what’s it going to be for you in 2019?