When it comes to running milestones, there’s a natural progression—first you run a kilometre, then you try two.But beyond that, it isn’t always clear what the next logical step in your running career should be.
In order to progress safely, it’s important to know where you stand now in terms of your fitness. Here’s how to match your current abilities with the goal that best sets you up for success.
UPDATE: Increase your run time. On your next run, do your usual walk-run ratio for the first five minutes. In the next five minutes, add five seconds to your run time; in the subsequent five minutes, add another five seconds of running.
UPDATE: Enter a 5-K. Run 30 minutes on Tuesday and/or Thursday and go longer on a weekend day. Start your long run at the longest distance you’ve run in the past two weeks. Each week, add an additional kilometre. Run at a very slow pace and take plenty of walk breaks. Once you can cover at least four 6km, you’re ready to race.
UPDATE: Tackle a trail. Go to a trail or dirt road with a stable surface. Run-walk for 15 to 20 minutes, timing your walk breaks for steep or rough terrain. Gradually increase your time each week by five minutes until you can run 30 to 60 minutes.
UPDATE Move up to a half-marathon. Pick a race 10 to 16 weeks away. On the weekend, slow your long run and increase the distance by one to two miles every other weekend. On alternate weekends, run half the distance of your current long run. Continue until you’re running 22km two weeks before race day.