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Spring Running Tip: Set a Goal

Maybe you're new to running, or maybe you've been running for years. Whatever your experience is, everyone can benefit from setting a goal. Here are some ideas for personal goals you can set for yourself. I recommend that you make them reasonable. They should be challenging enough to make you work hard, but not so difficult that they'll never be achieved.

  • Run a specific distance - Maybe you have a goal that every time you run, you go for 1 mile, or 3 miles, or 10 miles. However far you choose to run, start off with a doable distance and then gradually work your way up.
  • Run for a specific amount of time - If you are just starting out, set a goal of let's say 5 minutes. As you run more often, and build up your endurance, you can increase the amount of time.
  • Run at a certain pace or run faster) - For some people, their speed is important to them. You can challenge yourself to run faster at a constant rate.
  • Run to burn calories - If you're running to lose weight, you may want to measure how many calories you're burning each time. You can set a goal, so that each time you run, you burn X amount of calories. The Nike + iPod that works with an iPod Nano will tell you how many calories you've burned. Some pedometers will also give that kind of info, as do heart rate monitors.
  • Run to raise your target heart rate - Maybe you're running to improve your heart health and circulation. You may want to purchase a heart rate monitor to measure how hard your heart is pumping.

Want to see the other goals? Then

  • Run more often - If you have a running regimen that involves running once a week, you may want to run more frequently, and increase your running to twice or four times a week. Make sure you can fit it into your work or family schedule.
  • Train for a race - This year I'm setting the goal to sign up for a 5K. There are tons of races, half-marathons and marathons out there - just check the races in your area to find one that's right for you.

Fit's Tips: Once you set a goal, and then accomplish it, make sure you celebrate in some healthy way. Buy yourself a new sports bra or new music to run to. You'll feel much better about treating yourself in a way that supports your active lifestyle.

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