Happy New Year, runners! By now, your (holiday) hangover is wearing off and you’re getting back to the real world. You’re back at work, the leftovers are all gone and there are fewer and fewer reasons to postpone getting back to your running routine.
Also by now, you’ve got your New Year’s Resolutions set (who’s running their first half marathon or marathon this year? Anybody?), and we’re here to help you get in the groove so you can maximize whatever running goals you have. Attempting a Boston Qualifier? We’ve got you. Trying to stay true to running three times a week? We’ve got you, too.
1. Write your resolution in a place you’ll see it every day
Put a sticky note on your bathroom mirror or set your PR as your computer’s desktop background. Wherever you’ll be throughout the day, remind yourself of your goals. Seeing your goals will keep them top of mind so that it’s easier to do what it takes to reach them. It’s hard to say no to your run when there’s a bright yellow sticky note that says “Run five days a week” staring you in the face.
2. Run every day you should run
Runners like to plan. We like to know distance and time and we compute pace and calories burned and a hundred other statistics about our running. But sometimes, life happens and we need to adjust. If your training schedule—or your running instinct—calls for a 60-minute run and you only have time for 20, then go for 20! Committing to at least getting out the door (or onto the treadmill) will keep you accountable and on track for your goals. Plus, running a little will help you clear your head and de-stress so you can come back and tackle everything else you have going on.
3. Make running friends
“The journey is easier with running buddies” –Kevin Hanson, probably. Even if he didn’t say it, it’s still true. Find a friend to share in your running resolution or who is willing to help you out with your workouts once a week. Their presence will keep your accountable and will make the run more enjoyable. That’s just science.
4. Make time for yourself
New Year’s Resolutions are no joke, unless your resolution is to become a comedian. You took time to think about your goals and made up your mind to do something in 2015. Stick to it! It’s okay to make room in your schedule for yourself so you can reach your goals and follow through on your resolutions. If that means politely declining a night out so you can run your 20-miler on Sunday morning or rescheduling a lunch date so you can get your daily miles in at work, your friends and family will understand.
Never forget that running is something you love. When training gets tough or you feel yourself getting burned out (it happens to the best of us!), remember how much fun running can be and also the science behind how smiling can physically help your running. We know, your last long run may have been tough, but think of how great you felt the rest of the day and how much stronger you’ll be now having done it. And smile!
Now what? Go run! And let us know how it goes. What are your 2015 running resolutions? Let us know in the comments.