If there’s ever been one week in the year when everyone is thinking of the fresh start, it’s the first week of January. Transitioning from one calendar year to the next is a big time for self-improvement, to-do lists and brainstorming new goals. If you’re late to the party and haven’t decided upon your 2017 running goal, we’ve done the thinking for you. Where many resolutions focus on lowering the PB or the number of the scale, these don’t. These running-related goals will freshen up your running and put a fun spin on things as these next 12 months unfold. Shouldn’t running be fun anyway?
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1. Run in a national park
If you haven’t already heard, national parks are giving Canadians free passes this year. Say happy birthday to our country which turns 150 in 2017 by going for a run through one (or many) of it’s spectacular parks. There’s perhaps no better time to get into trailrunning…
2. Train for a new race distance
It can be longer or shorter– the new distance is completely up to you. If you’re a marathoner who wants to take the distance down a notch and find out what your 5K time would be if you actually put effort into the speed, go for it. This take will freshen up the running, especially if you’ve been at it for more than a decade or two already.
3. Apply lessons learned through running to something new
What have you taken from running this far and how can you apply that to an area of your life outside of running? Perhaps you realized first-hand that consistency and patience in building mileage leads to big gains. That attitude could be used to finally tackle that project at work that you’ve always wanted to pitch to your boss.
4. Add a new cross-training activity to your week
Pick a new activity that would compliment running (think yoga, cross-country skiing, swimming, climbing, etc.) and schedule it in. Sign up for a trial gym membership or five-class pack to make sure that it’s activity you’ll actually like.
5. Run somewhere you’ve never run before
We’re intentionally leaving this one open ended. Make a point of running in new places in 2017. This goal is accessible to everyone because the new routes could exist just outside the neighbourhood. Want to get ambitious? Take the running shoes on the next globetrotting getaway. The point is to take in new sights on the run this year.
6. Host a get-together and screen one of the year’s major races
If you just got into running in the past few years, there’s a good chance that it’s all been about setting and achieving personal goals this far. Expand in the next 12 months by tuning in to the elite scene. There’s a reason why you keep hearing about the Boston, London and Berlin marathons. We’re also in a world championship year. Pick an event and host a little party to get more involved in this side of the running scene.
7. Plan a summer trail run adventure
Don’t wait until summer is already here. Which trails would you and your running partner most enjoy? Plan a way to make it happen before the year is out.
8. Start a new post-race tradition
Every year, you run that one spring race. It’s tradition. Add a new twist by shaking up how you celebrate after crossing the line. You never know, visiting that local brunch spot or cute, quiet little cafe may become a part of the annual tradition.
9. Get social
So you do all your running solo. That’s fine, but there’s a chance you’re missing out. We’re not saying you have to run with a club for every run of 2017, but if you swing by a social running event every so often, you’ll likely make valuable new connections.
10. Plan a destination race vacation
Now this is a goal that won’t get pushed to the back-burner. Destination races are trendy right now– and for good reason. Choose a spot you’d like to visit and see if there’s a race there. If you want to stay domestic, it won’t be hard to find a start line in the Rockies or a picturesque route in Atlantic Canada.
Give back. It’s that simple. Behind many of our positive running experiences are people who volunteered their time be it as a race volunteer, school coach or run crew leader. Become one of these people in 2017.