It’s already February, which means your New Year’s running resolutions are pretty much habit now, right? If not, don’t worry—there’s plenty of year left! Here are five reasons you might have been thrown off track, and how you can reboot.
1. You’re Exhausted
By now, if you’re new to running, you may be skeptical about these endorphins all your runner friends have been promising you.
Take a look at your eating habits. Some people jump into running and dieting at the same time which can backfire if not done smartly. Running takes good, healthy fuel. Experiment with how much you eat and at what intervals before and after your run to figure out what your body needs and can handle.
2. Your Running Partner Quit
You made this resolution together, and now you find yourself waking up to a text saying he or she won’t be able to make it this morning…again.
Time to have an honest chat with your running buddy. Would she appreciate some extra motivation (guilt-tripping) from you? Would a different time of day work? Are they just not interested? If you’re left on your own and you prefer to run with others, check out your local running store for regularly scheduled group runs. Put it out there that you’re looking for a new partner. It’s likely that there’s someone else in your shoes.
3. The Flu
If you haven’t been sick yet this winter, you’re one of the lucky few. The flu hits hard, but worse, the lethargy afterwards can be difficult to shake.
Give yourself time, then get outside. Running can bring out the obsessiveness in us so missing runs for any reason feels awful. But pushing your body before it’s ready to work can only make your recovery take longer. Take a guilt-free extra day (or even two) on the couch and then get some fresh air. After being stuck on the couch for days, even a run in the pouring rain will feel invigorating.
4. Stuck in a Rut
Did you resolve to add in some track work? Tack on a long run each week? Trade some running days for cross-training? For those of us who are used to running the same speed and distance every day, it’s hard to throw in something new.
Keep a running journal. Write down your goals and how each workout is going to help you reach those goals. For example, if speed is key for you, keep track of your times on the track. Having a purpose in mind for each workout and a written record of your progress is great motivation.
5. You’re Busy
This roadblock is the same one that kept you from starting your resolution on 2012 and it’s a challenge that even the most dedicated and disciplined runner still faces every day.
The great news for the overscheduled is you don’t have to slog along for 90 minutes to get a great workout. In fact, shorter, faster workouts that include intervals or hills can get you fit quickly. Resolve to run less, but run faster and harder, and you’ll save time without compromising your goals.
How are your 2013 running goals going? Leave your tips for sticking with your resolutions in the comments!