Steve Bond: Where do you want to go in 2010? |

Steve Bond: Where do you want to go in 2010?

Although we are past the traditional New Year’s resolution moment, it’s still early enough in 2010 to spend useful time setting goals for this year.

After all, if we don’t set specific, measurable goals, the likelihood of achieving what we want during the year is small, depending more on luck than careful planning and hard (but fun!) “work.”

Think about it: If you don’t know where you want to go, what are the odds you will get there?

Consider the areas of life, such as running, that are important to you, and what you can do to enhance them.

Experts agree that goals set and written down, including specific, measurable results, are much more likely to be reached than those that are vague and hard to quantify.

Interim goals are also useful, providing helpful, measurable landmarks towards the ultimate goals of the year.

Setting goals that are realistic and achievable is important in your thought process.

Sharing your goals with those close to you is a very powerful tool towards achieving them, so I strongly encourage you to do so. If you want to increase the likelihood of achieving your goals, you can share them with me, confidentially, or publicly, whichever you prefer.

I find three-tier goal setting to be a useful tool, when appropriate, with the first “level” being a minimum goal that you would be disappointed not achieving.

The middle goal would be one that would take a very good year (or race) to reach, with the third being the fantasy goal, which you could only reach with an exceptional year and an outstanding race (or races!).

For many years, I’ve written a goal-setting column near the beginning of the year, using myself as an example. Usually, I’ve met my minimum (first tier) goals, but have rarely met my middle goals.

Despite aggressive goals set publicly a year ago, I had a very good racing year and was able to break my mid-level goals at the mile, 5K and 10K, while smashing my fantasy goals at 10 miles and the half marathon, pleasantly surprising myself in the process. Thanks to my best age-graded races in over 30 years, I achieved my mid-level goal of over 76 percent, and also met my mid-level goal of finishing second in the Gold Country Grand Prix in my age group.

Which makes goal setting tougher for me this year, doesn’t it?

In 2010, once again my Gold Country Grand Prix minimum goal will be top three in my age group at the end of the year, with mid-level goal second and fantasy goal first.

After having a blast competing in the Run Sacramento Grand Prix last year, which is based on age-graded scoring in your best eight races, I’m going to give it my best efforts again this year. More info is available at

I ran five minutes, 55 seconds for the mile last year, so this year my goals will be minimum sub 5:55, middle 5:50 and fantasy 5:45.

At 5K, which is my favorite race distance (and by far the national favorite at 41.4 percent based on the results of a recent Road Runner’s Club of America poll), my minimum goal is to break 19:49, which was my best of the last five years, with the medium goal to break 19:41, my best since knee surgery in 2003, and fantasy goal to break 19:30.

For four miles: Under last year’s 26:28, under 26:00 and fantasy, sub 25:38.

My 10K goals: Under 42:20, which was my best time last year, under 42:00, and fantasy, sub 41:40.

Ten mile goals: To run under 68:25, which was my time last year, under 68:00, under 67:30.

Half marathon goals: To run under one hour, 31 minutes, 28 seconds, which was my time last year; under one hour, 31 minutes, under one hour, 30 minutes.

Age-graded goals: Run my best age graded race in over 30 years (over 76.28 percent, which was my best last year), over 77 percent, over 78 percent.

Looks like this will be a fun year.

So, what do YOU want to achieve in 2010?

I hope ALL of you make and reach at least some of your goals.

Always remember that we spend much of our time and energy on the journey towards reaching our goals, so never forget to enjoy the ride.

Steve Bond is a competitive runner who lives in Nevada City and regularly writes columns and feature stories about running for The Union. He may be reached via e-mail at

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