Non-technical post for a ‘blog’ that’s up on Github, but whatever.

As an amateur runner it’s a bit silly to push yourself towards beating a certain time treshold. As if enjoying nature, the company of a running mate, the endorphine rush, or being healthy just isn’t enough. Time tracking can be fun and motivating, and it gives you the feeling of making progress. But improving on your PR doesn’t really matter.

With that said though, I know that a lot of amateurs like myself are driven by chasing the typical goals; Marathons finishing times below 4 hours or 3:30. 10k below 50 minutes, 45, or 40. 5k below 25 minutes, and down to 20, 19, 18.. Setting appropriate goals is difficult. Too difficult and you might lose your motivation. Too easy, and you feel like it’s no use, or that there’s no challenge.

Google set OKRs that are stretch goals to force their employees to explore new and potentially unknown ways to reach them. And since they’re stretch goals, they’re not expected to be achieved. “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars”, sort of.

Google encourages OKRs to be public so that everyone in the company are able to see what everyone else is working on, so I figured I’d put my own running stretch goals up - as a reminder to myself when it’s freezing outside.

Using the best finishing times from 2016 as the starting point:

Distance Time Pace Name of Race Date
5K 20:22 4:04 min/km Mental Health Run Oct
10K 42:52 4:17 min/km Vintermilen Nov
Half Marathon 1:42:34 4:51 min/km Stockholm Half Marathon May

Other guidelines to establish appropriate Objectives and Key results:

  • Key Results are measurable; they should be easy to grade with a number (at Google we use a 0–1.0 scale to grade each key result at the end of a quarter)
  • The “sweet spot” for an OKR grade is .6 — .7; if someone consistently gets 1.0, their OKRs aren’t ambitious enough. Low grades shouldn’t be punished; see them as data to help refine the next quarter’s OKRs.

Establishing measurable Key Results are way easier as a runner than in the IT industry. With the objective Become Faster, the Key Results could simply be the best finisher times for different distances.

Distance Goal time (.7 time) Goal Pace Time diff. from 2016 result Pace diff. from 2016 result
5K 19:00 (19:24) min 3:48 min/km -1:22 min -0:16 min/km
10K 40:00 (40:51) min 4:00 min/km -2:52 min -0:17 min/km
Half Marathon 1:35:00 (1:37:16) min 4:30 min/km -7:34 min -0:21 min/km

My Strava