You’ve started a training routine, and now you’re ready to see results! Unfortunately, it takes a little longer than most people would like to start seeing noticeable results. Getting out of shape requires zero effort, but getting back in shape requires hard work and diligence. Patience is key to noticing progress in your fitness.
Try not to get discouraged along the way. If you stick with it, you will see the results of your effort. Seeing positive results in your fitness level is also a great motivator to continue training!
Some training days are wonderful. You feel like you’re on top of the world and like you can run forever. Other training days are tough. You might not want to leave the house to run in the heat or the rain. Maybe you’re just tired from work and want to sit on the couch instead of running. As you start noticing progress in your fitness, it gets much easier to make yourself run on your difficult days.
Notice how you feel
This might be the most obvious indicator for noticing progress in your fitness, but you’ll start to feel better while you run. When you first start your training routine, it will likely be pretty tough. Whether you’re new to running, just getting back into running, or training for a larger event than usual, you’re going to be pushing your body harder than you normally do.
Initially, you’ll get a little sore and will get tired more quickly than you would like. If you keep up with your training routine, you’ll notice that your runs become easier and that your recovery times become quicker. Paying attention to how you feel physically before and after your workouts is a great way to notice progress in your fitness.
Set a standard for measurement
It’s hard to notice progress if you don’t have a baseline. Set a certain distance based on your initial fitness level and see how long it takes you to run it. As you continue through your training, come back to this baseline run. Run the same distance (ideally in similar weather conditions) and see how long it takes you to run it. You will start to notice progress in your fitness level as your times for your baseline run improve throughout your training.
Set incremental goals
Change doesn’t happen overnight, and you won’t see massive progress in your fitness overnight. When people start training, they typically have a long-term goal in mind. They might want to complete a certain race, or they might just want to get in better shape. Either way, the goal that inspires people to start training is usually a lofty one. It won’t be easily attainable, and it will require a lot of work.
It’s helpful to set incremental goals throughout your training. As you complete your smaller goals, you will notice progress in your fitness that brings you closer to your overarching goal. If you’re training to run a certain distance, set smaller distance goals while you’re building your endurance. If you’re training to complete a race in a certain time frame, set smaller time goals for your training runs while you improve your speed. Seeing your training runs as milestones will help you notice progress in your fitness.
Keep track of your accomplishments
If you’re training for a specific speed or distance goal, keep track of your accomplishments along the way. Progress can sometimes be so small that you won’t notice it day-to-day if you’re not paying attention.
Completing your typical run route a few seconds faster than usual do is progress. Running a tenth of a mile further than usual without stopping is progress. Remember that the small accomplishments count too! You will notice progress in your fitness when you acknowledge the small improvements along the way.
Written by Heather West, Content Writer