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How to Start Running: Goal Setting


We’ve all been there. You get really excited about running and decide that you're going to run every day starting Monday. Monday rolls around and the day didn’t go as planned. You’re too tired, traffic was horrible, the kids were acting crazy, work was tough, and so on.


So you say you’ll start tomorrow, and then the next day, and the next day until you finally stop making excuses and just quit.


Don’t Quit!


Remember why you wanted to run in the first place. Related: Find Your Why


You can change your life. You can make healthier choices.


This time you’ll wake up on Sunday morning ready to run because you’ve realized that you don’t have to wait until Monday to start something new.


You can start right now.

Decide that TODAY is the day because time waits for no one.


And how do you make that decision?


With goal setting.

You have to have a goal to make anything happen. Without a real plan, it will be hard for you to be successful in anything that you do. This is not just limited to running. No matter what you are trying to achieve, you need to set goals. Otherwise, it’s just a dream or a wish.


However, you don’t want to make just any goal. It needs to be a SMART one.

SMART stands for:


Specific - Who, What, When, Where, Why

For example, let’s say you want to get in shape so you decide to start running.

A specific goal would be “I want to get in shape by running 2 miles in 20 minutes so that I can be healthier.”


Measurable - How will you measure your progress?

Let’s keep building on the goal above:

I want to get in shape by running 2 miles in 20 minutes so that I can be healthier.

Every week I will lose at least 1 pound of body fat.

I will keep a log of my runs (on paper, phone app, or smartwatch) to track my progress.


Achievable - Can you actually reach your goal?

Be honest with yourself. If you’ve never run before then maybe your goal should only be to run or even walk a mile in a certain amount of time.


Realistic - How much time are you willing to put towards your goal?

Don’t say you’re going to run every day of the week unless you can actually commit. If you can only be active 3 days a week that’s totally O.K.


Timely - What is your deadline?

YOU HAVE TO HAVE A DEADLINE.

Without putting a finish date there will be no sense of urgency. For beginners, I suggest setting goals with a deadline of no more than 2 months. It can’t be too far away or you won’t stay motivated. However, don't expect overnight success either.


Here’s our completed SMART goal:

  • I want to get in shape by running 2 miles in 20 minutes so that I can be healthier.

  • Every week I will lose at least 1 pound of body fat.

  • I will also keep a log of my runs to track my progress.

  • By January 1st, I will have lost at least 8 pounds and achieved my running goal of 2 miles in 20 minutes.


What are your running goals? Do you need help with your action plan?

Let me know in the comments or send me an email and I’ll help you get started!


How to Start Running Blog Series:

  1. Find Your Why

  2. Create SMART Goals

  3. Create a Training Plan

  4. Stay Accountable


#newrunners #goals


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