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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.

Join The Conversation
Fitness Fitness 10 years
If you believe you can do it, then you can!
amandasunly amandasunly 10 years
I have to run 1½ miles tomorrow! I have a problem with motivation. Sigh.
Bekah75 Bekah75 10 years
I'm trying to get back into running, so all this advice was great! :) 5 minutes of a solid pace IS hard to run, I am trying to work my way up to running 3 miles without stopping, and I'm at 1½ right now.. but running sure does slim ya down.
mandiesoh mandiesoh 10 years
didnt know that smart blonde! still not a fan of running tho. my school used to make us jog twice every week (the entire school had to do it!) and it was like TORTURE! lol ok fit, what you said just made me want to go walk later! i've been slacking off these few days, need to get back into rhythm! :woohoo:
Fitness Fitness 10 years
Great tips smart blonde. Yeah, you definitely need to work your way up gradually. And you don't need to sprint whatsoever. Jogging and brisk walking are great cardio workouts that get your heart pumping. If you're trying to lose weight, I'd definitely set a goal of working out more often. You'll get quicker results if you walk 30 minutes every day as opposed to walking 30 minutes once a week.
smart-blonde smart-blonde 10 years
For beginning runners, even if you've been participating in aerobics and weight training, 5 minutes is a VERY long time to run. The Cool Running Couch to 5K program, which is what I'm using and is similar to most beginning running guides you'll find in libraries and bookstores, doesn't have you running for 5 minutes straight until you've been doing their workout for at least four weeks. A better way to start is to run 30 seconds, then walk for 90 seconds, and build from there. John Bingham would even suggest that you run for 30 seconds, then walk for five minutes.
mandiesoh mandiesoh 10 years
i want to lose weight, but i hate running! brisk walking is fine tho
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