Set a baseline
It’s a good idea to set a baseline for tracking your progress. You can set a baseline a couple of ways. One way is to head out your door and see how far you can comfortably run until you need to walk. For most beginners, this may only be a few blocks and that’s ok. This destination is just for measuring your progress. Nobody will know what your baseline except you.
4 ways to set a baseline:
Landmark-based: Run from your front door. See how far you can run and notice the nearest landmark where you had to stop. That landmark becomes your baseline. You’ll try to run a little farther every time. The next landmark will be your new baseline.
Time-based: Run from your front door. Set a stopwatch and measure how long you could run for. That’s your baseline.
Run from your front door. Set a timer for 10 minutes and see if you can jog comfortably for 5 minutes. Turn around and run home. See if you can jog comfortably the whole way.
Distance-based: Download a running app. Measure distance. That’s your baseline.
Challenge: run 1.5 miles for time at an all-out effort using a track or Strava. That time will be your baseline.
It’s a good idea to track your time (or mileage) for motivation. When we refer to tracking your time, we mean tracking how long you can run for (duration). Running for time can be freeing because you don’t need to worry about how far or how fast you’re going.