Camille Herron, Alyssa Godesky and three professional run coaches share the methods they use to measure success in running.

Measure Of Success

Total mileage covered is one way to measure success for the year, but it’s not the only way. We asked runners and coaches: What’s your favorite metric to determine success? Their answers may surprise you.

“My No. 1 goal and metric: If I can stay healthy and feel good, there’s a greater possibility of training consistently, enjoying it and reaching my major race goals. I went back to a paper training log [in 2018], and I’ve found that I keep more notes on how I’m feeling when I write it down.” Camille Herron, 100-mile world record holder

“Can you look back at your year and say you took a risk? A true success is going somewhere you hadn’t gone—a new adventure, a bigger challenge, digging deeper than you realized you could—and achieving something you hadn’t before.” —Kelly Williamson, running and multisport coach, Durata Training

“As an older athlete with lower training volumes, I do not even consider mileage as a measure of success. I try to race with top athletes, nationally and internationally, and see how I compare with these women who are within five years of my age. Using age-graded calculations also levels the playing field for older athletes and provides confidence that we’re still going strong.” —Suzanne Cordes, internationally ranked 5K and cross-country Masters athlete

“At Girls on the Run, we measure running success by transformation. In 2018, more than 200,000 girls across the U.S. were inspired to be joyful, healthy and confident and learned that crossing the 5K finish line is truly just the beginning.” —Theresa Miller, chief engagement officer, Girls on the Run

“My year-end reflection is simple: Am I fired up for the next year? Whether or not I checked off the goals from this year, if I am happy, healthy and excited to run again another year, that’s success.” —Alyssa Godesky, Vermont Long Trail FKT (fastest known time) record holder


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