A friend (see his tea blog, 39 Steeps) I showed my progress and regress of running and weight over the last few years -- I have a long spreadsheet -- he asked what my goal is. Seeing a steady number of runs, he suspected I'm back on track. I'm only back on track if I stick with it, and that's yet to be seen.
But, as far as goals go -- when I began this re-entry into running a few years ago, I boldly proclaimed I would break 20:00 for the 5K. Git as low as 21:35, but still a better than solid minute and a half off. That's a long time. And, I mentioned more than a few times I wanted to run a marathon fast. Not an unreasonable goal if I put the work in, but I didn't.
Lack of steady training was certainly one cause. Other factors might be at play, like age, diet and so forth, but not one matters if I am not consistent.
So, I told him my goal is simply consistency. Naturally, I want those other things, but I don't have much of a right to stake a claim unless I am otherwise getting in regular runs.
For now, regular runs will be every other day. That's on purpose. The next step up is four days a week, per some kind of specific schedule, with two days in a row somewhere in there. If I manage that without getting hurt, then five days.
If I'm good with five days for a while, I expect three months will have passed, and it will be early March. I should begin to see an impact. By then, no matter how weak my runs are, I will have logged some real miles, and enjoy some cardio fitness, and maybe a a pound or two lost.
Consistency, had I applied it in all the major blank spaces in the last year, will have given me so much. If I had run, say, 100 more days at no more than five kilometers on those days, I would have 310 miles behind me, and as much as 10 lbs lost. But -- I didn't.
So, to consistency, and beyond!