Deciding that you want to make running or walking part of your life is step one. Step two is hopefully getting other people involved in what you are doing, maybe people from a local running group. I hear the Run Richmond group is pretty amazing. Their may or may not be a step 3 for you. Some people are perfectly happy to run 2 or 3 times a week, get the health benefits from it and go on with the rest of their life.
I was not one of those people and I assume if you are taking the time to read this blog you aren’t either. So if you are looking for the next step I would suggest setting a goal (distance or time) and following a training plan that will help you meet your goal. There are lots of reasons to set goals. Some people are motivated by the success of achieving them. Some people need something to work for to keep their interest, and some people just need to process things and determine goals to decide how they want to move forward. No matter what your reason for setting a goal the benefit can be huge. IF, you become committed to it.
Staying committed is easier if you process things fully. First, you have to determine the goal. Second, you need to think about the ways to achieve the goal and most likely get advice from people that have done what you want to do. Third, you need to develop or find a plan. Fourth, is to find people to help hold you accountable to the plan. It is so much easier to do anything if you have somebody to hold you accountable. We can all get lazy, busy or life just happens. When you know if you don’t do what you said you would, somebody is going to be let down it becomes more important to you to stick to the plan. Finally, just get out there and put the plan into action.
If you want to do a 5k…there is a plan. If you want to finish a half marathon…there is a plan. If you want to beat 4 hours for a full marathon, guess what…there is a plan. Actually there are lots of plans for just about any goal you can come up with.
If you don’t know where to start ask on the Run Richmond facebook page. This community is full of runners at all stages. Somebody has most likely had the same goal. I have found that in general runners are very encouraging to new runners, so someone will want to help. I will link some of the more popular programs below, but please don’t assume these are the best options for you. Look around at the training plans online and see what makes the most sense for you. When I decided to run a half marathon I looked for several days before deciding that I wanted to use a Hal Higdon plan. What his plan was requiring seemed doable to me and fit into my schedule. If it isn’t something that fits into your life you won’t stay committed. Find a plan that works, a community to support you and go start conquering goals.