Setting Goals

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Goal setting is one of those things you hear about in so many conversations when talking about success, self improvement, fitness and so on. But like so many people, setting goals is something I pretty much never did. Or if I did, I soon found myself ignoring whatever goals I set for myself.

But since I started running, I have learned the value of setting goals. In my case, setting goals serves 2 purposes… helping me achieve success in my running. Helping me to stay safe.

Achieving success. After running in my first 5k a few months back, and realizing that I COULD do it, I was very excited about running not only more 5 k runs, but working up to 10 k runs as well.

So after that 5 k run, I found myself simply running. All the time. Without any sort of plan. Run and see how far I could go. Every day I would post my run results on my Facebook wall.  One of my friends was watching my progress and cautioned me to be careful and make sure I take days off, and soon.

She then invited me to run in a half marathon (this coming October 2011 in Rhode Island). It’s the one I posted about the other day.  But what was important about that was the training schedule she sent. Running only 4 of the 7 days, different distances, but only doing a distance challenge once per week, etc.

That prompted me to do more research on training for half marathons, and while the actual training schedules varied, they all pretty much sent the same message: don’t over do it! One of the biggest causes for injuries from running is too much running. Over training.

Here are some links to some of the training schedules I read through:

Runners World

Hal Higdon

Shape

Marathon Rookie

Jeff Galloway

Half Marathons

Cool Running

That’s a handful to get you started.

Just to be clear here… I am by NO means an expert on running, fitness, etc. I simply believe in common sense (once the common sense way is shown to me, anyway). So before you decide to start in any kind of physical activity you’re not used to, PLEASE go see your doctor and talk things over. Safety is the number one concern.

Then, make your plan, set your goals and set out to attain them. This approach works. Today I set a goal of 8 miles and I achieved it. And I did it in an hour and fifteen minutes (9:21 pace). And if you have not read my opening post or the about me, I am 47, overweight (but losing) and have mild arthritis in both knees.

If I can do it, You CAN do it!

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