When you laced up your shoes for the first time, you probably had a short term goal in mind: Finish this run. Do it again soon. Maybe work up to a short race. But if you like running, you’ll need a road map that takes you farther into the future. Here’s how to figure out what that goal is—and then get there.
Whatever you do, don’t fall into the trap of thinking you have to eventually run a marathon. I’ve been running long enough to know that I’m not really interested in the training I’d need to race a marathon. Same goes for triathlon – I have no interest in doing a half-iron or more (3/4 iron is becoming popular). It’s the constant question I find when people engage about my hobby/interest. I’m happy for those who do, but I could do without the people who can’t respect my decision or feel that I should have the same goal(s) as them.
I trust my running app, most of the time. If I set out for a three-miler, and come home with only 2.8 on the screen, I’ll jog around the block to finish the job. But even a smartphone can be dumb sometimes: like when MapMyRun grabbed a data point on the other side of the river my friend was running along.
Should you head out the door for a 30-minute run or a 3-miler? If you train for a marathon, are you working up to racing for 26 miles or for a certain number of hours? You can plan your workouts by time or distance, but each has its advantages. Here’s how to decide.
Another benefit to using time is that it’s easier to fit into a schedule.
Triathlon season is over for me, but first cyclocross (CX) race of the season is next weekend. So I’m keeping my schedule of running 5K three times a week. But I’ve given up on timing. I used to watch to see if I was improving. Running hills helped in CX races, as there’s often short, steep climbs and staircases. But the bike never gets any lighter… 😉
It’s frustrating when your friend—or, worse, a stranger on the internet—is making ill-advised health decision. Maybe they smoke, or eat terribly, or buy everything Dr. Oz endorses. Maybe they refuse to vaccinate their kids. Here’s how to get through to them.
Odds are incredibly good that the person is not going to listen to shaming or holier-than-thou rhetoric. If the person really wants to listen to what you have to say, it’s much more welcoming when you can say “yeah, I used to smoke/drink/eat too much and it was REALLY hard to change”. And then let them ask you how you manage.