One year and 3 weeks ago, I posted an article, “Start Running!” I spoke about setting a goal and sticking to it. I set a goal to run 1+miles every day, no matter what. Sometimes that involved running at 5am because there wasn’t any other time that day. Sometimes I didn’t get a run in until 11pm. But everyday for over a year (403 days & counting), I went for that run. I also reached one of my goals: running a full marathon.
So how has it been coming along for you? Missed a few days? Work got in the way? That’s okay, it happens, but get back to your goal. It’s a new year, and now that things have settled down, set your goal again.
Your goal: Lose weight? Run a 5k? Run a Half-Marathon? Maybe running everyday isn’t possible for you. Find your goal. Know yourself and your body. I knew if I allowed myself to take off one day a week, it would turn into 2 or 3 a week, and then back to maybe running once a week. I knew my mindset had to be EVERYDAY.
Sit down and figure out what it’s going to take to get there. For example, you want to run a half-marathon, but struggle with a 5k? No problem! Now look at your work schedule, what days are you going to be able to make some time to go for a run? Twice a week? 5 times a week?
Find a race (half-marathon for this example) that might interest you. The Marine Corps Half Marathon in Fredericksburg in May is a good, challenging option. The Rock N’ Roll Half in Virginia Beach in September is another popular race.
Take it nice and slow. You don’t want to stress your body out in the first few weeks. Make your runs easy and fun (but still challenge yourself a bit). Then as you get used to the running, go a little faster or longer.
Remember most days you’re going to have to talk yourself into doing it at first, then it becomes a habit.
One thing I believe in is: make it public. Use social media. Let friends know you want to run a half or whatever your goal might be. You’d be surprised how many people will get behind you and encourage you. You’ll feed off their encouragement and off the fact that now people know your goal. It makes it tougher to not reach that goal.
But get out there and start running, jogging, walking, just move!