6 Trail Running Goals to Challenge You This Year

Trail runners are used to setting goals: you sign up for a race, put in the hard work throughout a training period, and (hopefully) celebrate your accomplishment as you cross the finish line.

This year, rather than focusing on a single race, take a moment to step back and think about your trail running experience as a whole. How do you want to grow as a trail runner?

From conquering new distances to shaking up your status quo to running a streak (no, not that kind), there are lots of ways to take your trail running to the next level this year. Whichever goal you pick, the satisfaction of achieving it will taste almost as satisfying as that post-race banana at the finish line.


If you’re like most trail runners, chances are you have a favorite distance, one that you consider fun, comfortable, and just challenging enough to push you out the door even when the weather is sub-par. Whether you’re a sucker for 5Ks or a glutton for 50 milers, it’s time to mix things up by trying a new distance.

While jumping from 5K to 50 miles might be a little ambitious, don’t be afraid to sign up for a race that’s a step up from what you’re used to. If you’ve gotten comfortable with the 25K distance, maybe a 50k is in the cards for this year.

This works the other way around, too: if you’re a mid-pack long-distance runner, you could choose a race that’s a shorter distance and try pushing it to see if you can finish closer to the front. You’ll find it’s a completely different kind of challenge, but just as rewarding.


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