One of the most effective ways to get started running is to set a goal. It could be anything from running 2 miles without stopping to completing a marathon. My advice would be to set a goal that is:
- Challenging enough that it keeps you working hard – this will build up your drive to achieve it.
- Attainable – don’t make it impossible
- Measurable – something that is clear so you can say – I did it.
- Set a time limit to achieve your goal – for instance run three days a week for the next three weeks
- Fun – you can run with a smile on your face and you don’t have to push it to the limit if you’re getting started
- Something you can be proud of
For instance, a good goal for a person who doesn’t run and is in decent shape may be to run three times a week for three weeks and by the end, be able to complete three miles without stopping.
With goal setting, people often say to make your goals known to others, I say it depends on your personality. I rarely tell people other than my wife and the people I’m running with what’s driving me. I’m pretty introverted when it comes to those kind of things though. Some people may want to let everyone know, to keep them motivated. It’s up to you – it may help.
The big thing with running is that you probably will never win an organized race. I know I never will. I’ve been in marathons with 11,000 people and there is only one winner – that doesn’t make the other 10,999 losers. Thus, every goal I’ve ever had in running has been something personal that I’ve wanted to accomplish. That’s the beauty of running – it’s you against yourself.