Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Running Goals

Runners frequently identify our key races, times and finishing places in these races. Additionally, we seek weekly, monthly and annual mileage goals. Whether the former influence the latter, or the latter influence the former depends upon our most limiting factor.


If our greatest limiting factor rests in fitness, then the mileage and training influence our times and positioning. If our desire to seek and utilize time in our schedule for training, or the necessary health to achieve the training lacks, then the mileage becomes the greatest limiting factor. Perhaps inclement weather appears to limit mileage. Hall of Fame Coach Lyle Claussen frequently states, There is no such thing a tough weather, only weak people. Physical fitness mandates mental toughness.


A frequently omitted goal component resides in our average pace for our weekly, monthly or annual mileage. In the words of Lyle Claussen, If you want to run fast, you have to run fast. I believe Don Kardong is the one who once wrote that all mileage is not equal. Whether running fifty-miles per week or one-hundred miles per week, we must examine the internal components of our mileage.


For example, I ran only 70 miles per week while training for my first marathon with a disappointing time of two hours and thirty minutes (2:30). I trained with one of America's top collegiate cross country teams, University Nebraska at Kearney. Years later, I trained for another marathon running 70-100 miles per week with a much slower average pace of 6:30 per mile.


I attained my highest fitness level in between these marathons, running 80-135 miles per week with an average pace, door-step to door-step, of 5:55 per mile. This included regular long runs, frequent intervals and up-tempo mid-week runs.


As you probably suspect, as the mileage increases and the pace quickens, my prayer to the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit during training intensifies. For years, I have declared that adequate goals mandate intense prayer. Any goal seeming achievable without prayer remains too low.


Friends, consider these factors when evaluating your goals throughout 2013:

  • Mileage
    • Daily
    • Weekly
    • Monthly
    • Quarterly
    • Annually
  • Pace
  • Long Run
  • Fastest Training Pace
    • Distance at that pace
  • Slowest Training Pace—We benefit from recovery runs
    • Distance at that pace
  • Body Weight
    • Rule of Thumb lose only 2 ½ pounds per week
    • Body Fat
  • Recovery time
    • Pace
    • Mileage
    • Sleep
    • Social
  • Diet
  • Spiritual Life
    • Worship
    • Bible reading
    • Prayer
      • Specific Prayer time
      • Conversational Prayer during training and day to day activities
    • Fellowship
    • Devotional


Seek the Lord in setting and achieving each goal, regardless of size or apparent significance. This includes the above Spiritual Life actions, as well as discerning the Holy Spirit's voice in your life and consulting with a spiritually mature mentor. Godly goals please God, and glorify God. Consequently, the questions to consider in discerning your goals include:

  • Does this achieve goal please God, if so how?
  • Does achieving this goal glorify God, if so how?

The answer to these two considerations should correlate with one another.


In other words, do your mileage, pace, and race goals please and glorify God the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit? Invest considerable pondering—to the best of your ability—in defining how achieving your running goals provide an affirmative response.


Do you need to gain, or sharpen, personality or communication skills to optimize serving God in achieving these goals? Does your entire life reflect the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit in your life? If not, are you fully submitting your life to Christ? Do you and I please and glorify Christ more when we fully submit to Him or our selfish desires? Who possesses greater wisdom and power, you and I or the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit?


As seniors at Manhattan High in Kansas, we sought to become the first team in years to repeat as the best cross country team in Kansas. Dan Schneider led our fifth and final prayer three minutes before starting gun of the championship race, "Lord, help us run a race to glorify you, whether first place or last place (12th)." Our team never considered anything less than second as a possibility. However, Dan's prayer submitted our results to the Lord. He also reminded our team of our ultimate purpose. We did win, and The Harrier later alphabetized us among the best high school cross country teams in America.


Because of God's love for you—beyond human comprehension—He strongly desires involvement in every aspect of your life, including your running. In 2013, either begin to trust or increase your trust in God. Trusting Him beyond human understanding (Proverbs 3:5).


Running on Faith
Power of Light


See Christ, Believe Christ, Achieve with Christ!

Rick E. Meyer

The Leader Servant

See, Believe, Achieve Inc.




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