Most runners LOVE to keep count. We track miles, minutes, and maybe even calories burned. But numbers can drive us crazy, too. I think it’s important for runners to also set non-mileage goals because – trust me – you can’t always be increasing mileage and speed. Even if you’re not prone to injuries like me, sometimes life gets in the way. Work ramps up or a new baby arrives. And sometimes, you just get burnt out on running and need time to focus on something besides the numbers. When it comes to setting non-mileage fitness goals, I think it’s important that the goal is somehow quantifiable (or, in the very least, you decide in advance how you’ll know you’ve achieved it). Here is a list of non-mileage goals, some of which I’m currently working towards myself:
- Train yourself to do a certain number of push-ups or sit-ups.
- Do a plank for a certain amount of time.
- Take a 30-Day Yoga / Zumba / Whatever-Floats-Your-Boat Challenge: The key with long challenge like this is to build in room for error. Instead of saying you’re going to go to yoga for 30 straight days, say you’ll do 25 yoga workouts over 30 days.
- Learn how to do indoor rock climbing.
- Take dance lessons.
- Learn to do a headstand or crow’s pose.
- Become more flexible (for example, touch your toes or go into a split).
- Increase arm strength to the point where you can do a chin-up (or two).
- Regularly meditate.
- Learn how to swim.
- Start cycling for distance.
- Bench-press a new weight.
- Go for a walk every night before dinner.
- Last through an entire hot yoga class without having to take a break.
- Do all your housework to music and dance to the beat.
- Stand up every 30 minutes and walk around your office.
I also think it’s a great idea to set non-mileage, non-fitness goals during injury, such as reading a new book each week or learning to sew. What non-mileage goal are you currently working towards? Caitlin blogs at Healthy Tipping Point and Operation Beautiful. You can follow her on Twitter at CaitlinHTP. Her second book, a guide to healthy living, was just released this past May.