How to Set Sophisticated Running Goals to Get Stronger

After you’ve spent time reflecting on your past running season, with the help of our last post alongside Jenn Faraone, the next logical step is to set training goals that will help staying focused and dedicated to pushing yourself to achieve more or maintain what you’ve achieved so far.

For many of us, the extent of setting running goal goes no further than, “I want to run a specific race in a time of X”.  However, as Jenn Faraone, running coach, author and competing athlete states, “to get the most of your training season, goal setting should be a little more sophisticated.” If you’re a dedicated runner (and all of us are, of course 😉 ), and want to evolve and progress your performance while staying dedicated to achieving a ‘simple’ goal, Jenn shares the  considerations below on sophisticated goals setting.

setting running goals

How About Working on Your Running Form for Next Season as a Goal?

Top 3 Considerations to Get Sophisticated with Your Running Goals by Jenn Faraone

When Thinking About What You Want to Gain Out of the Next Running Season:

  1. Review your key highlights and your lessons learned, and build from there. Stick with what works for you and what you enjoy. Build on it.  Incorporate more of what you love, and less of what you don’t.  Loved doing the shorter and faster races as opposed to the longer distances? Then make the short stuff your focus. This will keep you dedicated and, as a result, you’ll reap the benefits by noticing considerable improvements.  For additional considerations and ways to reflect on the running season that’s passed, read the recent article “3 Ways + 1 Solution to Elevate Your Training to the Next Level.”
  2. Don’t limit your goals to one particular dimension, such as performance.  Think holistically, as the success (and enjoyment) of your season is dependent on many aspects including your level of commitment, nutrition, strength training, cross training, recovery, rest, etc.
  3. Set up checkpoints along the way.  Too often we set our goals as objectives to achieve at the end of the season. The problem with this is: A) It’s a long time to wait to achieve success and it can be hard to stay motivated for a long time B) The risk of something interfering with that end-of-season goal is high. Why set yourself for disappointment? Setting up smaller goals along the way is both motivating, and can also act as a gauge for how well the plan is actually going. Plus it’s easier to incorporate the various elements discussed above.
running goals

Continue getting stronger as you set your goals!

Thanks Jenn! I’ve worked with Jenn on setting shorter, non-performance based goals this running season and truly enjoyed the process and also reaped the benefits. Specifically, I trained for a half-marathon but couldn’t dedicate too much of my time to running during the week as I started building a business and was adamant on maintaining my yoga and spinning cross-training schedule of at least once a week. By focusing on nutrition, including weekly cross training exercises as well as quality-based, shorter runs with only 1 long run, I achieved my most important goal of reducing the overall running and training time which surprisingly, resulted in increasing my overall enjoyment of the sport. I was even looking forward to doing hill-repeats!  


trail running camp toronto

Jenn is having a trail running retreat in Ontario from Friday, October 2nd to Sunday October 4th. Join like-minded runners to reflect on your past achievements and goals, strategize for next year and learn something new about trail running. All levels of runners are welcome!

As one of the attendees from last year’s retreat said:

The retreat was terrific and I had lots of fun; I really valued Jennifer’s instruction and her great coaching; She sets an inspiring example and I came away with renewed energy and greater motivation for my training.

The Minimum Promise of the Retreat:

  • 3 + quality trail running sessions
  • Swag and nutrition samples
  • Strength and cross training tips
  • Gear needs and feedback from trail racers
  • Tips to prepare for a trail race
  • Training ideas and views from trail runners of all distances and mindsets!

Location: Ecology Centre in Hockley Valley, Ontario

Start: Friday, Oct. 2, 2015 after work (unable to make it Friday night? Email Jenn at

End: Sunday, Oct.4, 2015 after lunch

Register: email Jenn Faraone

About Jenn Faraone: Jennifer Faraone loves being active and helping others to find their passion with their sport. She is a coach, author of the book The Athletic Mom-to-Be and competes in both running and duathlons. When she is not getting lost in the trails, she enjoys hanging out with her 2 kids and husband.  Follow her at

Trail Running Camp Toronto Jenn Faraone


2 responses to “How to Set Sophisticated Running Goals to Get Stronger

  1. I’d like a bio and my own personal blog section too on RBR… since I actually contribute quite a bit AND got 50 likes in total now! go me go!

    *NAT KOROL* +1 416 835 9316 *LinkedIn* | *Twitter | Instagram *

  2. Pingback: Taking Your Training to the Next Level: Goals | Running The Trails·

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