Knowing what you have accomplished so far can help you choose what to shoot for in future. The motivation boost that comes with setting goals is fantastic – here’s how to ensure you hit the ground running and keep going.
THIS YEAR: Ran Occasionally
NEXT YEAR: Run Regularly
When you don’t feel like running, it’s easy to say, “I’ll go tomorrow.” Become more consistent by scheduling four runs each week: one hilly day, one speedwork day, one easy day, and on the weekend, a long run or race. If you still struggle, tell yourself: “I’ll just go for 10 minutes.” Once you start, you’ll likely want to continue.
THIS YEAR: Finished a Color Run
NEXT YEAR: Run a 5K Race
A themed event without the stress of a clock can be fun, but many races are just as friendly and upbeat. Plus, once you’ve earned a finishing time, it’s hard to resist trying to improve. Ask local running specialty shops which 5Ks are well-organised and fun. On race day, line up near the back and move to the side of the road during walk breaks.
THIS YEAR: Finished Your First Race
NEXT YEAR: Run a Bit Faster
To get faster, you need long runs and speedwork. Every other week, do a long, slow run, working up to three to five kilometres beyond race distance. For speed, try this track workout weekly: run a lap comfortably. Then run a lap 10 seconds faster, then walk a lap. Start with four fast laps, and build to 10 to 14 before your race.
THIS YEAR: Ran a Personal Best
NEXT YEAR: Tackle a Longer Distance
Focus on lengthening your long runs. Do them weekly, at a comfortable pace. Every other week, increase the distance two to three kilometres, until you’re running at least 16 kilometres (if you’re targeting a half-marathon) or 30 kilometres (for a marathon). The rest of the week, do at least three runs of at least 30 minutes each at any pace you’d like.