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Running: Have a Plan
When starting to run, it is always good to have a plan in mind. By having a set routine, it will likely help to keep the runner on track. Plans and goals are important to following through and sticking to running. There are two main ways to implement a running schedule.
One way is to go by miles. The runner’s planning and progress can be tracked through incremental increases in the distance run each day. When training for a race, this is often a common approach. For instance, a runner training for a 10K (6.25 miles) may just be a new to running. Likely, they will begin with short distances, such as a mile. After a week or so at that distance, they will move up to 1.5 or 2 miles with each run. They will continue to build up their mileage until they have comfortably met their distance that they know they can complete the 10K.
For runners who may not be as competitive, time might be a better way to plan. Some people get depressed and discouraged when training by miles. If their mileage stays low, they feel as though they aren’t making progress. Simply creating a plan based on time gives these runners the ability to enjoy their running without having any pressure with how far they went. This is normally done by casual runners who are simply trying to stay in shape and get exercise. They might start off by only jogging for ten minutes each day of the first week. The next week, they might run for fifteen minutes each time and then continue to increase progressively. Once they reach for their targeted amount of time, they can plateau.
While time and distance are the two main ways to set up plans for a running schedule, there are also other ways. For instance, very competitive runners who are training for races use a mix of both time and distance when planning. While they need long distance runs to build a base of a substantial amount of miles, they also need to incorporate speed training and timed workouts to adequately prepare them for their race. Competitive running requires a far more complex plan than does that of a casual runner.
Creating this plan is great, but the real key is sticking to it. Numbers can look easy on paper, but people don’t always muster up the motivation to follow the plan. Having a schedule will help to mentally prepare the runner for what is coming. This is crucial because the mental side of running is huge to overcome. The schedule will keep the runner accountable and make the times and distances more manageable. It’s always important to set realistic goals and have an appropriate plan to meet them. Whether time or distance is the runner’s method of choice, it is just necessary to have a plan.