A resolution is a decision to do or not do something.
I’m not much of a believer in thinking about and setting goals one day out of the year. Instead, I’ve found it more useful to set goals for each day, week, month, and year and continually keep track of how I’m doing.
Starting a new year does not mean starting over. It’s simply a continuation.
However, the feeling of a fresh start, like a new year, is a helpful kickstart to get you fired up to go after the things you have put off or things you have been afraid to try. It’s important for personal growth to think about where you are, where you want to be and more importantly how you will get there.
Running is no different. In order to grow as a runner you have to set goals and learn as you go. The focus of this list of resolutions is not so much things to do to become a faster runner, although that might occur, but ideas that can help you feel more fulfilled with running. I believe running is something nearly everyone can, not only do, but also, enjoy!
So, here are some ideas for things to do or work on – resolutions – that will help you maximize, or find, your running love as you head into 2016.
1. Join a running club
If you struggle with getting out the door to go run or find that you are lacking motivation, running with other people might fix the problem. With other people holding you accountable you will find that you run more! Running with a group will make the time fly by. Running is more fun with others.
If there is no running club in your city….start one!
2. Focus on enjoying the process
You’ve probably heard this before but what exactly does it mean?
Running is a daily activity. If you don’t look forward to the day-to-day then training will get old quickly and you will lose steam. Running is a long term process. There are no quick results. Every run builds on the last, each workout makes you a little stronger, a little better. Everyone has different reasons for running. For some, all the work is for a big race or to run a certain time, for others maybe it’s to drop a few pounds. That’s all great. End goals are fantastic, but it’s the process of getting there that matters. Once you learn to enjoy the process then the races become more enjoyable, you stop worrying about losing weight (because you are running so much that it’s not an issue) and you gain a deeper understanding of how to reach your other goals.
How do you go about doing this? That’s difficult to answer. Try some of the things on this list. Everyone has a different reason why they run. Figuring out what gets you out the door and smiling is the key to a long life of running. Spend time thinking about what running means to you and why it is important to you. Running is more than the races and fast times. Those things (especially the fast times) don’t last forever.
3. Become a better athlete
For the most part, running happens in a straight line. You move forward in one direction. Straight lines do not make for great athletes. Neglecting ancillary muscles and other planes of motion is a recipe for injury. Do something that gets your body moving in ALL directions.
Head to the gym and do some lateral exercises. Play basketball or soccer. Jump. Lunge backwards. Go to yoga (I refuse). Improve your range of motion. Run on single track trails. Get stronger, become more explosive. Set strength and flexibility goals. You will be a better runner and a healthier runner if you become a better all around athlete.
4. Convert a non-runner friend (NRF)
This resolution is less about you and more about the good of the running world. It’s a way to give back to the running gods. There are many ways to go about doing this. Think about someone who you believe could not only like running, but really benefit from it. Ask them to go for a run. Your goal is to get them hooked. What matters is that you make running enjoyable for your friend. Document your progress. That first run will be a memorable one. Show your friend how far they have come after a few months. Share your #convertaNRF experience with us.
5. Coach/Mentor someone
Offer to help someone become a better runner. Learn everything you can about running and put your knowledge to good use. You don’t need to know a ton of different workouts or training theories to help someone reach their goals. Rather, you should be a source of motivation, a sounding board, the person that is there for advice and suggestions.
Watching and helping someone reach their goals is incredibly satisfying.
If you are brand new to running then maybe you aren’t ready to coach or mentor but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn about what you are doing. Read up on the latest research. Pick up a book on physiology. Experiment with your own running.
6. Start a running diary/log
Write stuff down. There are many ways to go about doing this. Some people have a diary or notebook and it’s a very private thing. Others keep track of their runs and thoughts using online platforms, such as Strava. You could share your running life with thousands of people through a blog – like on run2run.com. Nothing like having the world hold you accountable and giving you feedback. Keeping track of your thoughts and progress allows you to go back and learn. You can learn from mistakes or determine what you did right that lead to a breakthrough.
A running log should not cause angst. It should be used as a tool for reflection. Where problems arise is when runners continually try to outdo what they did in the past and become frustrated if they don’t. Remember #2, focus on enjoying the process.
Run everywhere you go. Don’t stop because you aren’t at home. Document your runs to remember for later. Combine travel and running. Running is the best way to see new cities and explore.
In 2016, plan a vacation that involves running. Go to a great running place and hit up the trails. Treat a vacation as a time to run more than you normally do. You will feel invigorated exploring new routes and still feel like you are getting the mental break of a vacation.
Run The World!
Tell us about your New Year’s running resolutions! Share it with the running community.