Since this is the last day of 2013, now is the time to focus on running in 2014. To do this, the best method is to put some goals down for 2014. If you are new to running, don’t set the bar to high on yourself, creating unattainable goals. Set reasonable bars throwout the year to accomplish. Here are few of the more common ones to start out with.
1. Get off the couch
This sounds self explanatory but by focusing your mind on getting off the couch and doing something should be your main priority. Every time you sit down at the house in the evening, think to yourself, could I be walk/running right now? Sign up for a Couch to 5k program, where you will have a coach and others to keep you motivated. If you are in the Charleston, SC area, I recommend my friend Noah’s Couch to 5K Program.
2. Run a certain distance without stopping
Before you can know the answer to this one, you must complete number one above and see what you can do to start with. Again, set a reasonable goal like 100m, 400m, half mile, mile, etc. This can be a progressive goal. For example, by March I want to run a half mile is 5 minutes.
3. Set a PR for a 1 Mile Run
Time yourself running one mile & create yourself a PR and future goal to break.
4. Register for a local 5k race
Sign up for a local 5k to run for fun. I would recommend setting this for the Fall if you are just starting to run. This will give you 8-9 months to build up the endurance and stamina to make 3.1 miles. Be careful though, races are addicting!
5. Always have a race on the books
You will see how much fun races are when you complete your first in step number four. The purpose of always having a race on the books, is to keep you motivated. If you don’t have something to run for, you may lose interest and not stay focused on running.
6. Run a certain number of miles per month
Begin setting monthly mileage goals. Keep building this number about 10% each month, so when 2015 comes around you can begin setting a yearly mileage goal.
7. Establish an average pace
Once you have got comfortable with running, and can figure out what your average pace is, try to maintain or better it to push yourself.
8. Commit to running at least 3 days a week
You should at a minimum run 3 days a week, to safely build up your endurance and stamina that is required for running.
9. Toward the end of the year, sign up for a 10k or half marathon depending on your attained skill level
Push yourself… If you have done one or more 5k races, sign up for a more challenging race like a 10k or half marathon. The Cooper River Bridge Run in early April is a great 10k for 2015.
10. SET GOALS
To reiterate, you need to set goals. You need to put them down on paper, wait in your computer or smartphone, so you constantly see them. Tell others about your goals. Tell those that are not yet running to maybe encourage them. Tell other runners so they can encourage you. If you don’t have one to tell, post in the comments, and I will be glad to harass (I mean encourage) you into building yourself up for running.
Good luck. Be Safe. Be Smart. Listen To Your Body. Stay Injury Free!
Happy New Year 2014!