Want to Become a Better Runner? Start by Developing Your Plan

Make-plan-to-run-goals

What are my goals?
Start with setting realistic goals for yourself. Whether your goal is to lose weight, run a 5k or complete a marathon, knowing where your finish line is will keep you focused.  I suggest you set one big goal and several mini goals that take you to the end of your path.  Don’t forget to celebrate the victory of each goal accomplished.

How can I be consistent with my training?
If you can find a time of day that will work for you to train on most days, stick with it.  In general individuals who have a set time or schedule a time in advance to train stick with their goals better than those who do not. If you have to meet a friend or report to someone you will most likely be more consistent as well.  As the days of missed running add up, your fitness level decreases.  To keep the conditioning you work so hard to build stay consistent.

What type of running workouts will I do?
The type of running workouts you do each week will depend on your goal.  However, in order to improve your fitness and to lose weight you need to mix up your routine.  Keep your body challenged with 2-4 harder workouts a week.  Some examples include, but are not limited to; hill repeats, high-intensity intervals, a shorter and faster run or even a long run one day a week.  If you are running more than 3-4 times per week do not forget easy recovery runs.  They are just as important as the tough workouts. 

What other modes of exercise will I incorporate into my routine?  
If you plan to cross train or lift weights, be sure to work the intensity in with your running days.  I suggest making a hard day hard all around.  That means if you plan to lift weights, lift on the same day as a hard running session (run then lift).  Recovery, or easy days, is a good time to cross train.

So, go sign up for that race you’ve always wanted to do, start following through with each step of your plan and track your progress.