Coach's Corner

An Alternative Approach to Goal Setting

By Coach Declan McDonnell

One of the great things about running is that it’s easily measured. Times don’t lie! Racing our past selves and coming out on top is one of the great thrills of the sport. This can also be a trap.  There are a couple of features of this fact that can be problematic for goal-setting.

  1. Things that are easily measured often are just a convenient proxy for the things that are really important, and sometimes don’t quite capture what we’re really after (losing weight doesn’t necessarily mean you’re healthier.)

  2. Because it’s easily measured and gives us an idea of how successful we were, PRs are glorified above all else, while the hard to measure but more important things get ignored.

I’m not totally against having a time goal. It can be really motivating to be close to a time goal late in the race. It can be also be counterproductive. Too far off your goal, and you get discouraged and slow down even further. Too far ahead, and you get complacent, happy to just cruise it in for a big PR.

When you think about your next big race, I challenge you to instead set goals that are not time based. A better approach is to set some decision-making goals for yourself. These should be centered around two parts of the race - early on, where you have to make decisions to be smart, and late in the race, where you have to make decisions to be tough. To figure out how to do this, think back to past races. Where did you struggle mentally? Do you go out too fast? Or perhaps late in the race you too often give in to the voice that tells you it’s okay to slow down? Give these things some thought, and write down the decisions you want to make in your next goal race.

The real measure of a good race is not your time – it’s whether you got the most out of yourself on the day. The only person who knows whether you did that is you. If you write these decision goals down, vocalize them to your coach, and visualize overcoming them in your mind before the race, you’re much more likely to make this happen.

When Eliud Kipchoge ran the Berlin Marathon in 2018, he was expected to set a new world record. Anything else would have been viewed as a failure. But when asked about this before the race, he demurred. His only stated goal? “I hope to run a beautiful race.” Not a bad example to follow!

Team News

  • Our team camp will be this Labor Day in Ludington, MI. Interested? Sign up here.

  • Save the date! The 2019 DWRunning team photoshoot will be 6/2 in the city

  • Want to get some bloodwork done? Use discount code ‘DWRUNNING’ for 15% off at InsideTracker

  • We’ve obtained team discounts for Burgers & Beer 5k, B1G 10k, & Chicago HM - check your email for details


An Illustration by Coach Dan Kittaka

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The last 10 miles of the London Marathon, I would touch my singlet to remind myself that our team stays tough when it hurts. We’re very fortunate to be able to draw such inspiration from our teammates! Thanks!
— Coach Dan Kittaka
 
 

April Race Highlights

Updates to the DWR Top 10 Lists (Men / Women):

Women’s 10M:

  • Julia Buford - Lakefront 10M - 1:00:52 (2nd place!)

  • Moira Ryan - Parkway Classic 10M - 1:05:20

Women’s Half Marathon:

  • Sarah David - Illinois HM - 1:19:20 (3rd place & PR!)

Women’s Marathon:

  • Julia Buford - Eugene Marathon - 2:52:12 (PR!)

Men’s 10M:

  • Chris Robertson - Lakefront 10M - 52:25 (champ!)

Men’s Half Marathon:

  • Dan O’Keefe - Illinois HM - 1:07:16 (3rd place & PR!)

  • Cam Rieger - Illinois HM - 1:10:01 (PR!)

Men’s 50k:

  • Connor Matheson - Yamacraw 50k - 4:03:17 (3rd place & PR!)

Top Placings & Age Group Wins

  • Chris Robertson - Good Life 5k - 15:03 (champ!)

  • Julie Crutchfield - Morris Superhero HM - 1:32:46 (champ!)

  • Paul Graessle - Get Burbed Challenge 5k - 19:05 (champ!)

  • Katelyn Draths - Sly Fox HM - 1:32:32 (AG champ!)

  • Loren Newman - Ultra-Trail Mount Fuji 100M - 20:40:14 (3rd place!)

  • Allison Parker - Nashville Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon - 3:15:27 (3rd place!)

  • Sean Gill - Foodie 5k - 19:30 (2nd place!)

  • Chris Robertson - Ravenswood 5k - 15:05

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Personal Bests

  • Katie Dudek - Good Life 5k - 20:06 (+ AG champ!)

  • Maggie Jones - Good Life 5k - 20:22

  • Kwang-Youn Kim - Paris Marathon - 3:06:02 (+ BQ!)

  • Varun Praveen - Champion of Trees 10k - 40:42

  • Sascha Edge - Illinois HM - 1:22:30 (AG champ!)

  • Brad Simmons - Illinois HM - 1:24:50

  • Rutger Stache - Illinois HM - 1:28:39

  • Sam Greenwood - Illinois HM - 1:28:55

  • Joanne Molinaro - Illinois HM - 1:57:41

  • John Brassea - Illinois Marathon - 2:59:30 (BQ!)

  • Renner Winston - Illinois Marathon - 2:59:39 (BQ!)

  • Aaron Agustin - Capital Health HM - 1:40:19

  • Melissa Urban - Capital Health HM - 2:20:16

  • Rene Duquesnoy - Kentucky Derby HM - 1:47:07

  • Brett Joseph - Crazylegs Classic 8k - 37:14

  • Steve Spangler - London Marathon - 2:56:55 (& BQ!!)

  • Amanda George - Ravenswood 5k - 19:07

BQs

  • Matt Stanesby - Paris Marathon - 2:36:07

  • Eric Cale - Boston Marathon - 2:46:54

  • Dan Stanton - Boston Marathon - 2:49:41

  • Jamie Hershfang - Boston Marathon - 2:51:28

  • Kyle Somerfield - Boston Marathon - 2:56:33

  • Caleb Kadera - Boston Marathon - 2:58:36

  • Erica van Heerden - Boston Marathon - 3:09:48

  • Anthony Molinaro - Boston Marathon - 3:09:48

  • Adrienne Eynon - Boston Marathon - 3:09:51

  • Jess Bird - Boston Marathon - 3:12:12

  • Kim Weiss - Boston Marathon - 3:14:34

  • Jess Sokolowski - Boston Marathon - 3:20:42

  • Bri Rohne - Boston Marathon - 3:22:04

  • Kaitlyn Hartman - Boston Marathon - 3:23:43

  • Brooke Williams - Boston Marathon - 3:36:05

  • Dan Kittaka - London Marathon - 2:32:52 (6 Star Finisher!)

  • Chris McGarry - London Marathon - 2:50:52 (6 Star Finisher!)

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Upcoming Events & Major Races

  • 5/4 - LR @ Morton Arb

  • 5/11 - LR @ Busse Woods

  • 5/16 - Pint Night @ Goose Island

  • 5/18 - LR + bRUNch @ Morton Arb

  • 5/25 - LR @ Waterfall Glen

Check out the calendar (& add it to your own calendar!) here.

May Birthdays

  • 5/5 - Tim Maier

  • 5/18 - Yuki Hirao

  • 5/19 - Alex Weems

  • 5/26 - Carol Villegas

  • 5/30 - Caleb Kadera

  • 5/31 - Matt Stanesby


 
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