Runners are already well known for setting ambitious training and racing-related goals pretty much year-round so the idea of setting some resolutions just because the calendar changes may seem silly for some. However setting resolutions can still be beneficial and offer a convenient and timely excuse to further justify setting new goals and serve as important motivation for achieving them.
We’ve assembled a handful of the most time-tested and purposefully simplistic running-related resolutions to consider for the coming year. Choose just one or two and commit. While all are important and will help you be a better runner, focusing on a select few will allow for a more dedicated effort and thus a better chance of success. Good luck!
Resolution #1: Run more
Add a few more minutes or extra kilometres to a few of your regular runs. Find time to run more frequently. Aim to increase your weekly, monthly or annual mileage. No matter which way you do it, running just a bit more than you currently do is perhaps the simplest and most effective way to become a better runner.
Resolution #2: Pick up the pace
If you can’t run more (but even when you can), be sure to incorporate some faster–and unfortunately more uncomfortable–running into your training. Short track repeats, longer intervals, tempo or running hills are all ways to up the intensity of your training. Try and do this at least once a week.
Resolution #3: Fuel your fitness
What you eat, how much and when all matter. Make a conscious effort to improve, modify or at least maintain a healthy and nutritious diet (at least most of the time). Losing weight doesn’t need to be your motivation or goal, but it can nonetheless go far to making running and training more enjoyable.
Resolution #4: Build a better running body
We all break down eventually and to some extent. Increase your injury resistance by building a strong and resilient running body. This means dedicated strength work (including to your upper body and arms), core exercises and even flexibility (to keep those muscles loose and limber). Hitting the gym, adding some cross-training or doing a yoga or mat class is a great way to supplement your running routine.
Resolution #5: Master your recovery
Recovery is still perhaps the most underrated and most ignored aspect of training. Yet it’s absolutely essential for success. Getting a bit more sleep each week; reducing your daily stress and focusing on your mental health; and slowing down on your easy running and off days will all help you train harder and get fit faster.
Resolution #6: Set goals and have a plan to achieve them
RELATED: Time to set some goals
Having goals is good but creating a specific plan to achieve them is better. Think about what you’d like to accomplish this year–to get faster; run farther; stay healthy; or lose some weight–and create a number of short- and long-term goals that are realistic and attainable. Then, think specifically on what actions and behaviours will help you to achieve these goals and commit to making them.