As 2020 draws near, runners reflect upon their past year of running–what went well, what didn’t go so well and what was unexpected. Here are some resolution suggestions for the runner who experienced every kind of year. There are helpful tips for those who struggled with injury, and ways even the runner who just can’t stop improving can do better.
For the runner who got injured
Injuries are the worst, but they happen. If you’re a runner whose 2019 goals weren’t accomplished due to an injury, that’s certainly a disappointing way to end the year. Instead of dwelling on the misfortune of the season passed, consider how you’ll prevent this from happening again.
For the most part (unless it’s an unlucky accident) runners know when they’re sustaining an overuse injury before it becomes a big problem. The cycle looks something like this: a runner wakes up and walks with pain but convinces him or herself that a run is a good idea. During the first few kilometres things are feeling rough, but by the time the runner reaches their last couple of clicks, they’re finally feeling good. Because the runner feels good by the end of the run, this reinforces that it was a good idea in the first place. The next day they wake up sore again.
One of the easiest ways to avoid injury is by listening to your body, but this takes serious self-discipline. When you feel that something isn’t right during your workout or run, consider a couple of cross-training days while you wait to have it assessed. There are small aches and pains that arise from hard training, but things can quickly move from a little ache and to a full-blown injury if you’re not careful.
RELATED: The vicious cycle of injury
For the runner who underperformed
Runners can underperform for a lot of reasons: sometimes life gets in the way, something could be off with training and sometimes your mindset can be the thing that’s slowing you down.
There’s so much that goes into a great season, but one of the most neglected aspects of a good run is the enjoyment of it all. When a runner is underperforming they can push the panic button and try to force the personal best. Running well is ultimately about enjoying what you’re doing. If things haven’t been smooth sailing for a few months, consider how much enjoyment you’re getting out of your daily miles. If the answer is not much, consider how you can change that.
However, if you’re enjoying running and staying healthy but the PBs aren’t coming easily, be patient. Sometimes these things take time and we have a feeling that 2020 is your year.
For the runner who had a great year
If you’re completing your best year of running yet, congratulations on your achievement. Heading into the new year, it’s harder to make resolutions when you’re coming off personal best after personal best. But remember, things can always be improved upon.
For the runner who had a great year, the key is to pick one small thing you can do better. Whether that be nutrition, sleep or recovery, there’s always something that can be optimized. Eat a few more vegetables, try and fit in a nap after a big Saturday workout or make a promise to actually do your physio exercises. Good habits are exactly that–habits.
For the new runner
If your running resolution for 2020 is to get into running, our advice is to start slowly. Running is a sport that’s easily overdone, especially for those who aren’t accustomed to mileage.
If you’re just getting started, carefully work your way up. If you want to pick a race to train for, start with a 5K. There’s no need for your first time on a running start line to be a marathon–than can be for future you.
For the runner with waning enthusiasm
Maybe you’ve been injured for a while, maybe you’ve been struggling to run a personal best or maybe you’re just getting a little bored of your routine. If 2019 was the year that running became less exciting, make a goal to change things up in 2020.
Consider trying a trail race, a destination marathon or a triathlon relay. Everyone gets tried of their routine after a while, and if your training program is years old, think about switching it up.