Start Running S.M.A.R.T.

– by Sam@Empire –

Those that are new to fitness, or in this case, want to start running , welcome!

I actually didn’t start running more seriously till after high school. I was in band for 4 years and enjoyed not having to have P.E. I was eager to start running for personal fitness, but didn’t want to start racing until I saw a few friends signing up for Color Runs and Rave runs that all peaked in 2013. As dope as it may seem, it was a little off putting to see so many people walking these races, and I wanted to prove to myself that I was more capable. I wanted to test my limits. I ran it with little to no training with a PR of 28:something for a 5k. I honestly just used my phone timer because I had no idea what apps existed.

In college, I had the opportunity to work on a self motivation goal setting project for Sports Psychology. The main idea was to create a S.M.A.R.T goal and I found it the perfect opportunity to run a half marathon.


The S.M.A.R.T. principle is one that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. Let me break it down for you.

Be Specific

Simply saying “I want to run” or “I want to run faster” are too general. A specific goal would be, “I want to PR my half marathon by 2 minutes in the next four months.” I already had the idea that I wanted to run the Nike Women’s Half Marathon. So I signed up as soon as it was available to enter the raffle.

Make sure your goals are Measurable.

When choosing a running goal make sure you are able to measure your progress. Luckily, there are so many apps out their that measure your progress, such as time, pace, mileage etc. I personally love the Nike+ Run Club app, now designed similar to Instagram but for fitness. (follow me @smankeyy). It’s also a fun way to compete mileage against your peers.

Keep it Attainable

Have a goal that is within reach. You should never hop into a race without proper training. It’s best to start with a running goal that you are willing to work for. Again, the NRC app has a coach feature that can also plan out your running schedule that you can even modify to what fits best for you. One day, I do plan to run a full 26.2 miles, but knowing I don’t have the time to train for that many miles, it’s not the best time to fulfill that dream.

Is your running goal Relevant? 

A goal is more meaningful if it’s more important to you than it is to others. You aren’t going to enjoy your running experience if someone’s making you do it. Most people ran the Nike Half because you receive a Tiffany’s Necklace in replacement of a medal. But I wanted to be apart of this race that empowered women through running.


Keep your goals Timely

When creating a running goal, you’ll need a deadline for when you want to complete your SMART goal. Most people pull the trigger by signing up for races, which is great, but again, always make sure there’s enough time to train prior to perform your best!

I hope this helps you on the RUNway!


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