Working the Plan

Some of us can just eat properly and get their exercise as a daily routine. That’s not me. I need a well-defined goal and a plan for how to achieve it. My long-term goal is to finish a marathon at the age of  70. That is a little more than 18 years away and does not help me focus for today or this week. Goals more than 3 months away, except for a marathon, just don’t keep my attention. And even my marathon training goals have to be broken into segments.

My new goal is to pass a nuclear imaging stress test just before Thanksgiving. That’s an abstract goal. Yes, I know that I have to lose some weight, take my medication and get at least 150 minutes of exercise every week. All good things, but I need numbers. My cardiologist told me to run no more than 5 miles at a time.  After my injury I struggled to walk .5 miles. The Cardiologist told me to take 6 weeks off of running to help my heart heal.

My  numeric goal is to be able to run that 5 miles in 42:30 the week of the test. It was frustrating not being able to run, but I could walk and ride a bike. That would have to do until I could start running. Then I would be like a beginning runner all over again, but with some wisdom learned over the years. I knew that I could not just start off and try to run 5 miles in 42:30. It would result in failure or even injury. At first I would try to run for a few minutes until I was tired, then I would walk a little until I was better. These sessions would last 30 minutes. They would continue until I could go 3 miles running without a break. I’ll always remember that day in Long Prairie, Minn. I pumped my fist into the air as a cop watched. He must have thought I was a nut case. He may have been right.

Once, I reached that goal the idea was to increase my distance by .2 miles per week. Two weeks ago I reached 5 miles for the first time in 49 minutes and 12 seconds. The next step is to increase my speed by about a minute per week over the next few weeks. That will last until I break 45 minutes. Then the plan is to improve by about 30 seconds a week. This Sunday I ran it in 48:23. The goal next weekend will be to break 48 minutes, than 47,46,45, 44:30, 44, etc. This Sunday during the run at about the three-mile point my partner was struggling to keep up. I left him at 3.5. The feeling hit me. I felt like a runner for the first time since the injury. Nothing else feels like that.

Partner Insights
Information to advance your business from industry suppliers

What’s your plan? Where do you want to be in 3 months? Figure that out. Make it achievable. Nothing breeds success like success. Now split that goal into 3 monthly segments. Great, now what do you have to do this week to achieve your monthly goal? Now do it!