Running is a big thing. Running is your health, your mood, and your life expectancy. I remember as I saw some TV program, where one Italian couple was interviewed. A man looking somewhere 60 years old was accompanied by a woman in her 80 ties. Both of them were asked what they thought about the families where one spouse was considerably older than the second one. The woman kept silence but the man on reflection smiled a bit. He said that he could not comment this question because in their family he was a peer with his wife. But she looks a bit older because twenty years ago she stopped running and he kept on doing it on a regular basis.
So, if you are a runner or just going to become a runner, you should not set too ambitious plans for your daily runs. Everything starts with an introduction. All of us have a different background, health condition, sports experience. You are to test your body, at first, and to start running just for pleasure, not forgetting, at the same time, to look from time to time at your watch. One mile, that`s not bad, three miles, that`s good, five miles, that`s excellent. You make acquaintance with your health condition, emotional state, your initial time. For long distances, one beat of your heart goes with one step. Old practice but still effective.
After that, it is desirable to start running 3-4 times a week. 25-35 miles a week is a good choice. You can do it personally or in some running group, together with neighbors or buddies from your block of houses. You never forget about checking your time and gauging your fitness. If you suddenly get an idea to take part in some future race, 3-5% improvement of your initial time on a weekly basis will be a good thing. In this case, you even could start composing your own running diary. In the left column you could put all your time results, starting from your initial time, and in the right column you could put down your comments. In a week or two, it would be a high time to draw your own individual race plan. On the one hand, you could ask some specialist to do it, on the other hand, you could trust yourself and shape your own vision of your future race goals.
At last, the moment would come, when you start thinking about the target time for the race, where you would like to take park. Though this question is just a bit vexed, rely on your own intuition and your own experience. Nobody knows your fitness condition better than you. If you plan to run some 10 km race, divide it into several smaller distances, and set an interim target time for every 2, 3 or 5 km distance. It will help you psychologically because if you start thinking just only about your finish time, you could burn yourself just before the race. Your target time should not differ greatly from your training results. 3% approach is one of the best choices. Don`t plan to die on this distance just to break some record. It is better to get a pleasure from running, socializing with happy sports nuts, and improving your own marks.