Create mini goals for yourself when running and see how fast they add up to big goals
I’m a goal-oriented person. In every aspect of my life, I set goals. I have goals for my job, goals for my finances and goals for my writing career. I even set goals for my love life (get through a week without calling him…. cancel one date a month just to keep him on his toes…...), and goals for a host of other stuff.
So, it was a bit surprising that, when I first started running, I didn’t set goals. Partially, because I was concentrating so much on buying the running shoes, the shorts, the running bra etc., I didn’t think about what I was going to do when I actually started running. Then, once I got outside and set off, it suddenly struck me. “No goals! What the heck am I doing this for?” That’s when I decided setting running goals was important. Now, if I was to give a running tip to a beginning runner, setting goals for yourself is one of the most important I think. But where do you start? What running goals should be your first?
I started out really simply. There’s no point deciding your first goal is to run a marathon. After a week of training, you’ll be so frustrated, the idea of a marathon will go out the window along with your running. You’ll probably hang up your running bra, shove your running shoes in a closet and never run again. So, for your first running goal, make it simple.
When I started running, I made the simplest running goal I possible could. I started by deciding my goal was to get to the end of the block. Once I got there, I kept on going, and now my goal was to the get to the red car with the dented bumper. At the red car, I aimed for the tree at the end of the street and on and on. As I kept doing this, I discovered every day I began to run further and further. It was easy to get to the end of the block and, surprise, I wasn’t tired. The next goal of the red car was even easier. By this time, my body was loosened up, I was breathing well and my mini goals were so easy to achieve, I looked forward to making the next one.
Over the next few months, I continued to do this until, one day, I decided to measure how far I was running. I got in my car and hit the odometer (that little clock thingy that measures how far the car goes) and off I drove. Imagine my surprise when I drove to the end of all my mini goals and realized I was running 10 miles a day. Not bad for quick runs to the end of the block, the post office and the crack in the sidewalk that looks like a boomerang. All added up, they created a run for me that was far beyond what I thought I could do.
So, my first running tip to you is this. Think small, then create large. Make mini goal after mini goal and, before long, you’ll be running that marathon – one block at a time.