When starting a journey, one should have some purpose or destination in mind. Sometimes, the journey itself is why one is travelling. Even then, some guiding principle exists. Sometimes, their are intermediate goals that govern part of the journey. With these thoughts in mind, I shall consider my current goals for this running program.
Physical fitness is good to have for sustained health. I've picked running as part of my fitness program because it is a specific capability that I am tested on annually as a member of the US Air Force Reserve. This is also the source of the first short term goal. For my age group, I need to beat 10:24 for the mile-and-a-half run to get the maximum points. I also need to reduce my waist size to less than 32.5 inches and running is part of the plan for that as well.
When I graduated high school, I weighed 148 lbs and could run 6 miles in 42 minutes wearing combat boots. Over the summer, I was involved in a vigorous training program and was healthy at 131 lbs. I'd like to see if I can get back to that level of fitness. I know I'm not 18 anymore, but I won't be running boots either. I figure 7:00/mile for an extended run (like a 10K) is a reasonable long term goal. If I get to a point where I'm healthy and still unable to increase my speed to that level without risking injury, I can let this go.
While not a running goal, I would like to get my percentage body fat down to a more healthy level. Greater than 25% (where I am now) is considered to be unhealthful. Just on the low side of 20% seems to be the suggested target for adult males. I have a scale which gives me a fairly repeatable (if of unknown accuracy) number that I will track. I carry my extra weight at my waist, so my waist measurement will give another metric for tracking progress.
I've always talked about running a marathon. I even was signed-up for the New Orleans Mardi Gras Marathon one year, but got sick just before the race. My little sister has completed at least one marathon and at least one half marathon. I don't know her time, and I'm not going to worry about it until after I've completed at least one marathon myself. (And maybe not even then.)
Short Term Goals
- Run 1.5 miles in 10:30 (7:00/mile)
- Complete a 5K run
- Complete a 10K run
- Body fat percentage < 25%
Long Term Goals
- 6 miles in 42:00 (43:24 for a 10K; 7:00/mile)
- Body fat percentage < 20%
- Complete a marathon
Superseded by update on 15 December 2008.
[Edited 1400, 28 December 2008 to add link to update]