Making it the Year of the Runner: Staying on course

Set your running goals and get your own support group.

This year can be the one you seize the day and take your running to the next level. Here’s the second article in our series on how to make it the year of the runner!

One whole year is a long time. Over 365 days you’re bound to encounter challenging times. Like sailing a ship, it’s inevitable to go off course, and the real work is to constantly steer ourselves back on course. For this, we need direction and a support crew.

Set a SMART goal

Your commitment to running is growing deeper roots. But they need to go deeper still. Now create a SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time bound) goal to keep you on course and inspired. Make your running goal something you feel excited about, rather than something you think you should do. Maybe a series of 10 k races throughout the year will be more fun and sustaining than one or two marathons?

Want some inspiration? Watch this video about mountain runner Emelie Forsberg and her four records. Or check out ultra runner Rickey Gates’s #EverySingleStreet project. Remember to make your goal SMART.


Once you’ve selected your goal, it’s time to make it public. Tell your family, friends, colleagues and connections on Sports Tracker app about it. Doing this will compel you to follow through.

Enlist your allies

Everyone needs support. And you will too if you’re going to stay true to your commitment. This step is like sending the roots wide as well as deep. That way when the inevitable storms hit, your commitment might be shaken, but not uprooted.

Identify two to three people in your life who will offer you support and encouragement to follow through on your commitment and goal. Make sure they will be encouraging, rather than discouraging or overly critical. Approach each of these trusted people and tell them about your commitment and your goal. Ask them to get behind you, to check in with you, and give you a kindly push if they think you need one.


Invite your allies to follow you on the SportsTracker app so they can see how you’re doing with your training. Create a WhatsApp or Messenger group with your allies where you can log your progress.

Running task:

Continue running three times a week for 20 to 30 minutes each time.


We’d love to hear what you’ve learned or discovered from reading this article, including your SMART goal, in the comments below. Stay tuned for the next article in this series scheduled for next week: Building the running habit!


Check out also the previous tips if you missed it!


Josh Gale – Kiwi journalist tracking adventures great and small

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  1. Pavel

    Hello! Thanks for you articles. I already have a Whatsup group with motivating running allies. And my goal for 2019 is to participate in all (or near it) races from the GoldenRingRunning series in Russia that includes 11 halfmarathons and 2 marathons in different cities.

    1. Sports Tracker

      Oh wow Pavel!

      Good luck to you and your running friends :) Sounds really cool year.

  2. Year of the runner: Building the running habit - Sports Tracker Blog

    […] Check out also the previous tips if you missed it! […]

  3. Andria

    Thanks for motivation and staying on course to success.

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