4 Rules for Setting the Right Race Goals

Celebrate Success

Celebration is more important than you might think. If your goal was to run a 10K in less than an hour this year and you finish in 59:59, celebrate like there's no tomorrow.

Amateur athletes can be far too hard on themselves, even when they meet their goal. They either expected more or immediately start thinking about the next race before properly reflecting and celebrating the one they just finished.

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Savor the victory of your current success. It will help you build up to an even greater accomplishment the next time around. Unlike the pros, there won't be a hefty paycheck waiting for you at the finish line. Whether it's a party with friends or a splurge on some sweets make sure to create some kind of reward.

Don't Dwell on Failure

It's possible that even if a realistic, measurable goal, you'll come up short at least once in your racing career. It's the same for everyone.

Sometimes it just isn't your day no matter how much training you completed or how much effort you put in on race day.

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Don't fret. Remember, this is just one bump in a very long road. Even the best and most accomplished pros are sometimes forced to walk the run in a triathlon, drop out of a marathon, or DNF (do not finish) a bike race.  With every failure, a runner or triathlete can learn something.

If this happens, take some time to reflect, reload and then register for that next 10K.

Don't put too much energy reviewing why you failed. Sometimes there aren't any good answers. Instead, look ahead and focus on your next race, your next goal and the celebration you'll have once you meet it.

MoreTop 10 Newbie Tips for a Personal Best

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About the Author

Roman Mica is an amateur Clydesdale triathlete who lives and races in Boulder, Colorado. He is the managing editor of www.EverymanTri.com and author of My Training Begins Tomorrow: The Everyman's Guide to IRONFIT Swimming, Cycling & Running.

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