If you're new to the running scene, setting a goal for each workout is a great way to keep at it and to help you feel like you're making progress. Here are some ideas for mini running goals.
- Set a time and run without stopping: If you're an absolute beginner, that might mean two minutes, and if you've been running for a month or longer, your goal might be for 15 or 30 minutes straight.
- Run three times in one week: The best way to make running feel easier is to start running regularly. That doesn't mean you need to run five miles each time you go. Choose a time or distance that's doable three times a week, and stick with it for a month or so. Choose specific days to run such as Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday to help you remember.
- Run a mile in 12 minutes or less: If this seems impossible, set a time that's reasonable for you. It's OK to walk a little, but eventually work up to running a mile in about 10 minutes. This playlist is perfect for running at a 10-minute-per-mile pace.
- Make it all the way to the top of a hill: Find a decent hill in your neighborhood, or increase the incline on your treadmill. Your first attempt may result in you huffing and puffing and stopping midway, but your legs will become stronger after several attempts, and you'll be able to reach the top. No sweat.
- Hit at least two different surfaces each week: Mixing up the surfaces you run on offers new challenges to your muscles, making you a better runner. Alternate between the treadmill, road, sidewalk, trail, and sand. Keep in mind that running in squishy sand is more difficult than running along a smooth treadmill belt, so when the surface is tougher, move at a slower pace or for a shorter amount of time.
- Include five sprinting bursts: Running at a faster pace burns more calories, builds stronger legs, and improves your speed and endurance. If you're used to running at a consistent pace, pick five times during your workout to do some sprints, 10 to 60 seconds. Be sure to allow for recovery time after each burst.