We all know the benefits of having a carrot dangling in front of us. Whether it be a cool medal, a pampering post-race massage or the satisfaction of finishing an event, a goal will help fuel your desire to run. The first thing you may notice in the goal above is there isn't a promise of learning to run 30 minutes in two and a half weeks and the ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound. I don't roll that way. In fact, I don't because that was my strategy when I first tried to learn to run and it ended in tears and failure every time. It wasn't pretty. The goal to run 30 minutes in two to four months may not produce the same amount of searches online, but it will produce a lot more runners who love to run and who perform well. When you love something, you want to more of it. When I say a smart goal, I mean setting a target without an exact date. Let's face it--how many of you are able to arrive on time in air travel. Learning to run works the same way. Life happens, a lack of sleep kills your energy and your performance and motivation are affected by a number of other variables. If you run with the flow of your life and the proper rate at which your body can adapt to running, you will progress more efficiently and have more fun along the way. This means pushing on the days you feel good and easing back on the throttle when you are having a day that makes your head spin.