Beginning Runner's Guide - Goal Setting
Motivation is important for all runners, but particularly so for beginners who have not yet had a chance to recognize the positive values of running, which are not always easy to explain or measure. Before you take your first steps, establish a goal. Do not give up until you reach that goal.
Many people start exercising to lose weight. Some people exercise as a means to quit smoking. Others have as their goals relieving stress, or finding some private time for themselves.
Establishing mileage goals works for many. Running a mile non-stop for the first time can provide you with your first Runner’s High. Running that mile progressively faster can keep you going. Or you can increase the distance you can cover continuously to two, three or more miles.
Even though you don’t consider yourself a competitive runner (and most runners do not compete), you might want to pick as a goal a local road race. The most popular race is the 5-K (about 3 miles), a distance achievable by most beginning runners. Allow yourself enough time to train for that distance, then just do it. Once you finish your first 5-K and win your first race T-shirt, you can establish additional goals.