My goal for the month of June was to hit 100 miles. Factoring in that I still need to run today and that tomorrow is the last day of the month, as well as my cross training day, I’ve left myself with a one day (one run) buffer. Can you say close call!

A huge way to step up your game and improve your running, or just to begin the running process, is setting monthly goals. Using the Nike Running app makes this easy. It tracks every run and breaks down how many miles you run each week or month.  It also allows you to follow your friends and see what they’re running.  You can even create challenges for each other – – just a little healthy competition!  I tend to set my goals based on the number of miles per month. However, if you think you’ve maxed out that number, set a time goal. Try to make your average time per mile faster. An even crazier idea is to try both– increase your miles AND get faster! The sky truly is the limit here people! To keep myself accountable, I’m telling you that my goal for July is to hit 125 miles, which goes along with my training.  You heard it here first folks! Now, use your end of the month stats from June to set a realistic* goal for the end of July.

TIP: Feel like you’re stuck at one speed? One tip on getting faster is to run intervals. Try sprinting a certain & predetermined distance (or time) and then jog. Repeat as many times as you can. Keep pushing yourself further and further.   I used to sprint the distance of 2 or 3 telephone poles and then jog 2.  In the city, you can use the number of blocks or streetlights! 

Track your progress throughout the month so you don’t get too far behind. Remember, you can always reward yourself when you have a good run. Get yourself that frozen yogurt or have that glass (or extra glass) of wine. Some material or glutton motivation never hurts!

To wrap up this post, I just wanted to leave a few extra words of wisdom (you guys really lucked out!). It’s important to push yourself. You will be surprised how much your body can do and handle. It took me years to realize that. However, as I’ve mentioned previously, life gets in the way. If you don’t reach your goal, don’t punish yourself. Sometimes, it’s unavoidable. Look back and reflect. What was going on during the month that prevented you from getting to that number? Be able to use what you’ve learned about yourself and move forward. Dwelling on the past will not help you move forward and improve.


*Note: I mean it when I say realistic. Increasing mileage by too much at once can lead to injury. There is a common statistic that says not to increase your mileage by more than 10% each week. However, this rule doesn’t apply to everybody and definitely depends on what level you’re at in the running process. If you’re a beginner, the best way to increase miles may be to add a day of running in the week. For example, if you’re running 2 miles, 1 mile and 2 miles in the week, then you could add one day of another mile or 2! That’s more than a 10% increase, but you just have to listen to your body.   The more you run, the more you know how much you can push yourself.