Updated: Nov 2
New Year’s Resolutions - a contentious topic! We all know the cliche of the newly-purchased exercise equipment or gym-membership that ends up going unused after the first month or two of the year. But for the average runner who has already built a pattern of consistent running, are resolutions helpful? Perhaps, or perhaps not. As usual, it varies by person. Here’s my take.
Personally, I think about a New Year’s “Intention.” An intention, to me, is an overall guiding theme that I want to carry throughout the year. By my definition, it’s less “strict” than a resolution, which means it’s easier to get back after on board if you lose sight of it for a few days or weeks.
Here are a few ideas on running-related “Intentions” that I’ve had and occasionally recommended to others.
Consistency A goal of consistency could look very different for each person. Some people do a running “streak,” running every day. Some may focus on trying to hit every prescribed training run, no matter what. I think a better plan for some people might be to always do 20 minutes where there’s a run scheduled in your training, unless there’s an injury concern. Everything going great? Good, stick to the plan! Tired after a 12-hour day and can’t fit in 8 miles? Great, get in 20-minutes and sleep well knowing you kept your mind and body used to consistent running.
Note: run-streaks can be incredibly unhealthy both mentally and physically, and will almost always be detrimental to your training. Similarly, forcing yourself to ‘stick to the plan’ when things are clearly not going well... that’ll backfire as well. Please be careful and use these techniques with caution for shorter periods of time, or better yet, not at all!
“The Little Things” We all have a list of running-related things we want to do, know we should be doing, and yet somehow always miss doing on a regular basis. Strength training, foam rolling, mobility, PT/Rehab exercises, yoga... the list goes on. I have yet to meet a runner who doesn’t wish they were at least a little more on top of things in this department. My recommendation: make a schedule. It’s unreasonable to expect yourself to do a 20 minute strength and PT routine plus 5 minutes of foam rolling, plus a few mobility exercises EVERY day. You’re already running for an hour, and in the winter it feels like it takes that long to get dressed and undressed. So break it up. Make a schedule so you’re hitting everything you need/want to do at least a few times a week. Every day there’s a little variety, and you’re unlikely to think “ugh I did it yesterday, I can skip today”... eight days in a row.
Want a head start? Email me for a FREE google spreadsheet template that lets you make a schedule, auto-highlights the current day, and let’s you check off all your “Little Things.” It even color-codes based on whether you did what you wanted to.
It might just be the biggest "little" thing that you do to improve your running!
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