Running Resolutions

Photo: Matt Stetson.

Every year, Jan. 1 is the day when New Year’s resolutions begin to face the test of time. Goals are set and the first day of the year marks action getting underway.

Runners are known for setting ambitious goals, whether that means chasing a lofty PB, racing for the first time, or not racing at all but setting a personal milestone. The tricky part of running is that it may take weeks and months to see the progress.

With 2018 on the horizon, here are 10 running resolutions you can set and follow through on in the new year.

And remember, as coach John Lofranco wrote for Canadian Running, “our resolutions, while they might be fairly specific (they have to be in order to succeed), usually serve a more general purpose.” Did you miss one day here and there but stay consistent overall? No big deal as it’s the big picture that matters.

RELATED: Keep that New Year’s running resolution.

Try a new race distance

Peaked doing the 5K? Attempt to double up and racing a 10K. Are marathons limiting the number of races you do each year? Move down in distance and test out your speed.

Plus, if you try a new race distance and finish, that’s at least one guaranteed PB for 2018.

RELATED: Reasons to tackle new race distances.

Enter a new (for you) race

Is your routine of the same races starting to feel stale? Enter an event you’ve never done before. There will likely be the thrill of conquering the unknown. And though you may not know the course like you do at your home race, the new environment and scenery may mean time passes by quicker.

A reminder that registering early in the year for a race often means saving a few bucks down the line when the deadline nears and early-bird registration ends.

Try a new surface

Canadian Cross-Country Championships Photos

Photo: Tim Huebsch.

Like trying a new race, take change a step further and hit the trails or cross-country course. Or, if you’re an avid trail junkie, test out flat land by racing on the roads.

RELATED: Keep that New Year’s running resolution.

Start or continue a run streak

A run streak means you’ll be putting in consistent mileage on a week-to-week and month-to-month basis so you’ll be on track to be in PB-fitness. Just don’t be discouraged by those who have hit the 10,000-day mark.

Keep a training log

Keeping tabs on where you are in training is always a good idea. It’s helpful to look back on past workouts to see where things may have gone wrong or, if you set a big PB, it’s motivating to see just how far you’ve come. With the rise of GPS watches, a training log can be kept almost automatically.

Add or cut out a routine

Challenge yourself by dropping a habit you’ve wanted to kick for some time, or, alternatively, push yourself in other ways by adding in a specific type of cross-training here and there or attempt to master a strength training exercise.

RELATED: From the archives: 12 uncomfortable ways to become a better runner in 2015 2016 2017.

Join a run group

Rejean Chiasson

Photo: Jess Baumung.

Running in a group may help keep you accountable towards your goals and opens the door to meeting new people in the community.

Qualify for an exclusive race

Certain races have specific qualifying standards like the Boston Marathon. If you’re not ready to attempt to qualify in 2018, at least check out what the qualifying standards are for future years. You can likely cut off more time from your PB than you think.

Listen to your body

Runners are used to pain, whether it’s in training or on race day. Sometimes too much pain is a bad thing. In 2018, convince yourself that you can take a day off here and there if you feel an injury coming on. An intermittent or weekly day off is better than needing to take weeks and months off at a time.

Run a big city race

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Photo: Tim Huebsch.

There’s a certain feeling to big-city races as thousands, sometimes in the tens of thousands, of runners take over downtown and the surrounding area. The high volume of runners means there’s a good chance you’ll have someone to run with for much of the race (albeit there may be more bumping), and that could lead you to a PB.

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