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Hi there I’m Suzy!

I uplift other women in the areas of running, lifting, and motherhood

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A-B-C Goal Setting for Runners


Is there a strategy to having goals and working toward them? Yes! Let’s talk about A-B-C goal setting for runners.

Realistic Goals

For those who race, having a goal for a certain time is pretty common.

While it is easy to say “I want to PR” or “I want to run a sub 3-hour marathon”, our goals have to be realistic for where we are now.

Because I am 40, it is much more realistic at this point in my life to say I want to qualify for Boston than it would be to say I want to run a sub 3-hour marathon.

If that’s my only goal though? I could be setting myself up for mindset issues.

A-B-C goals allow you to challenge yourself while reaching for various strategic points.

A-B-C Goals

So how do you figure out A-B-C goals?

As a runners rule of thumb, the A goal is a “stretch goal”.

The B goal is challenging.

The C goal is realistic but not a sandbag effort- it’s something you’d be proud of.

Let’s talk through examples

If you want a time for a race, think about what you are capable of now (either using online calculators or a previous race or what your paces are now).

An “A” goal is a stretch- the best case scenario. Most runners use a personal record (PR) as their A goal.

I set goals this Fall and achieved my A, which was a PR in a half marathon.

When I set a “B” goal, It is something that is just out of reach for me at the moment.

Time qualifiers are age-based, so since Boston is aggressive (3:40 for a woman my age, 40) it’s a great “B goal” for me when I run marathons.

A “C” goal? For me, it would be sub 4:00 in a typical road race without aggressive terrain.

While it is not a wild goal, if I have that “C” in my back pocket it will help me make smart decisions should I feel sick or fatigued. Or that it just wasn’t my day.

Remember, you can also also have a “D” goal…just have fun!

Goals are Personal

My goals are not your goals.

You may not even have any at the moment or don’t ever care to.

Just getting out for a run can be enough of a goal.

Don’t let other runners determine your goals…or anyone for that matter.

One of the great things about the sport is unless you are an elite runner with sponsorships and earning money from your races, your biggest competition is with yourself.

Comparing ourselves with others can be tempting, but most of the time we are wanting to better than we were the day before.

Make your goals a reflection of you and where you want to be…not what someone else wants you to be.

If you have to, keep your goals to yourself. If not achieving them will cause anyone in your life to put you down…just don’t tell them!

Goals Should be Specific and Trainable

Since I have a running website, and I talk about my goals…they are written down.

You may not have to write them in order for them to be real to you, but if you keep a running journal why not just jot down a few?

Do you want to run for a longer period of time? Write down “I want to be able to run for 60 minutes without stopping by March”.

Then, research how you are going to do that.

Are you going to get a book to help you? Website?

Online coaches are everywhere if you want to go that route.

Don’t just go willy-nilly. A little research will help you to safely reach that goal.

Figure out…can I do this? Or is this an “A” goal that I will work toward long term?

The more specific you can be about what you want to do with your running, the better able you will be to reach that goal.

Let’s set a goal!

Whether you run every day or are still a beginner, try setting a goal before the end of the day.

If you would like someone to know about it, or you need a little help with it, let me know or get on my waitlist for 2022 coaching by contacting me.

You can also join the conversation on Instagram, which is where I hang socially online!