150 miles by Christmas!
That's my schedule. My plan is to run on average 5 days a week, slowly building up my mileage. I started running on the 9th at 1 mile/day and as of today (Sunday the 14th), my mileage has increased to 2 miles/day. However, you'll notice that the math doesn't quite work out - 5 days of 1 mile/day plus 5 days of 2 miles/day does NOT equal 16.7 miles. I would actually only get to 140 miles on that pattern, so what I've done is added 10 extra miles evenly over the next six weeks (1.66 miles extra per week) in order to get up to the total 150 miles.
What I'm going to do is make Saturday my "check-in" day. I'll report on how much mileage I got the past week and compare that to where I wanted to be at that point. Then Sunday will be the first day of the new week and I'll increase the mileage. But since I obviously didn't come up with this plan yesterday, I'll do my first check-in today.
Date: November 13th, 2010
Scheduled Mileage: 5.0 miles
Total Mileage Ran: 6.2 miles
Mileage Difference: +1.2 miles
I'm already 1.2 miles over my schedule. The key to this schedule is that I left it flexible to deal with not only weather, but injuries and personal schedules. If I miss a day, I'll spread those miles out over the other 4 days of the week or just run on a planned 'day off' later in the week. On the other hand, if I feel like running longer one day, I am free to rest later on. Flexibility is key in my training schedules. But the 2nd key is always challenge - from an Ironman quote I really love "If it was easy, everyone would be doing it."
It's nice to have a goal, a means by which I can measure my progress even if it's somewhat (or completely) arbitrary. Either way, it keeps me going.
This week I want to set you a challenge:
Sit down tomorrow at some point and make a goal for yourself. It could be something personal, social, academic, work-related, or anything. Set a goal and figure out a way to keep it. Maybe for your ultimate goal, you can set smaller goals as a "path" to keep yourself or break it down and work on pieces of the goal one at a time. Goals are amazingly helpful, but I find it incredibly hard to schedule them out over time. Smaller goals or partial goals along the way will certainly help you realize that you either are or aren't making progress each day, week, month, or year depending on the goal you set.