I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to spreadsheets and graphs. I have a weight loss graph showing how much I’ve lost. I love the reports you get with sites such as FitDay and My Fitness Pal. Most of all I love my running log. My personal trainer set it up when I first started going to him in July last year.
The first entry was on July 4th 2011 – 1.6km in 16 mins, 53 secs. Average speed 5.9kph.
I sped up a bit until I was comfortably doing 1.6km in about 15 minuites.
(That’s about 15 minutes per mile)
Today’s entry – 6.29km in 46 mins, 23 secs. Average speed 8.1kph
(That’s 11 minutes, 53 seconds per mile)
Almost a year on I’m starting to enjoy running, it’s not just a necessary tool to lose weight. I love the freedom, the sunshine and the sense of accomplishment.
A new challenge
Before today’s run I looked back at my most recent outings and tried to set myself a pace target. There are a lot of times I walk when I should be running because my head is telling me ‘you can’t do this’. I need to get over that.
I decided to see if I could run an average of 7 minutes, 25 seconds per km. My normal average is about 7 minutes, 40 seconds.
I did it! Quite easily in fact. I ran more, although not as much as I would’ve liked.
The next challenge is to get my average pace per km down to under 7 minutes. On the treadmill I can run a km in about 6 minutes, 20 seconds. Over a much longer distance I think around the 7 minute mark is a good target. Hope to hit it in the next week or so.
The importance of all this
You might not be competitive but constantly striving to better your previous time, pace or distance is a great way to keep improving. I’ve been using Nike+ and it’s been so helpful in letting me know how close I am to my target. Today, when I was slowing down, Nike+ reminded me of my average pace and I knew I had to speed up.
Fitness goals can be simple, you could pledge to go to the gym more or to be able to lift more. It doesn’t have to be as specific as running pace.
You could also have weight loss goals. I think these are really, really important but shouldn’t be limited to the number on the scale. Take measurements as well as weighing yourself then at the end of the month measure and weigh again.
Make it reachable
There’s no point in setting the goal to lose 10kg in a month because it’s not going to happen. Be realistic. That way, when you hit your goal you’ll be more motivated to carry on.