Set short- and long-term goals

| October 01, 2011

We have made it through the summer. The temperatures have cooled, and the fall colors are on their way. October might be my favorite month of the year. As the temperature drops, running gets easier. The trails are still open for bike riding. October is a great time to reevaluate.

Come up with some goals. My long-term goal is to finish a marathon after the age of 70. That’s 17 years away, so it is a little hard to focus on that one. I just don’t want to do anything so stupid now that it will keep me from getting to that goal. I set short-term goals. My next goal is to run five miles in fewer than 45 minutes on Thanksgiving morning. My longer goal will be to finish the Green Bay Marathon in May. Then I want to do a 70.3-mile triathlon in July.

Goals can be broken into smaller parts. The smaller parts become the plan. As with diets, your exercise plan may kick you off when you least expect it. That just means you need to either adjust the plan or start again: Do not give up. In trucking, exercise routines don’t come easy. Build some flexibility into your routine. Marathon training usually consists of one long run per week. For most marathoners, that run is done the same day of the week, usually on the weekend. As a trucker, you never know what day of the week you will have time for a longer training session. It makes it harder. It also makes you appreciate it more.

Your goal might be to walk a mile in fewer than 20 minutes without having to stop and catch your breath. The same principles apply. You may have 40 minutes to exercise one day and 10 minutes another day. The day that you have 40 minutes, walk slowly. Have 10 minutes? See if you can walk half a mile.

October is a great month to start a routine. By the time it gets cold, you will be into the habit. Once you have started the habit, it gets easier to do it no matter the weather.

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