- Keep a running log. Keeping up with your daily, weekly, monthly progress, can help you see trends in your running. Handwritten, an Excel spreadsheet, or an online running log like RunningAhead.com, it doesn't matter, just log-it!
- Get a running buddy. You’re more likely to keep to a regular routine if you know a buddy is waiting for you. Plus, the time usually goes by faster when you run with someone else.
- Join a running group or club. Many running groups host group long runs. It's a great way to meet and socialize with other runners. Might even find that running buddy you're looking for. It may even be good for your brain to run with a group. Scientists think that the generation of new neurons (neurogenesis) is increased in the brain when you exercise in a group.
- Set a goal for yourself. Could be anything….running your first 5K, 10K, half marathon, full marathon, or an ultra marathon. Or maybe it’s logging 1000 miles or more in 2009. If you’re a road runner, maybe your goal is to hit the trails. Whatever your goal, if you have one, it helps keep you motivated throughout the year.
- Update your running gear. Trade in those tube socks and that holey cotton T-shirt for some more advanced technical clothing. Treat yourself to that cool pair of racing shorts or running shoes you’ve been wanting. Save up and buy that Garmin GPS thingie you’ve been looking at.
- Eat better. Be more conscious of that you’re putting in your body. Add more whole grains and protein to your diet. Start cooking more at home or taking your lunch to work to ensure you’re putting quality food into your body. Treat yourself to the “junk” every now and then, but use it as just that…a “treat.”
- Cross Train. Running ever day can sometimes lead to injury if you’re logging a lot of miles. Mix-up your routine with a few low-impact days to give your joints a break. Try walking (outside or on the treadmill), the elliptical or step machine, or swimming.
- Build a strong core. Your core is the source of all your energy needed for running. Build a strong core and you’ll see better running results.
- Think quality over quantity. Unless your goal is to be a streaker (never missing a day of running), quantity shouldn’t be your goal. Each run should be a quality run witha specific purpose. If you run the same miles the same way each day, every week, every month, every year, you probably won’t see any improvement in your endurance level or any increased speed. Mix up your weekly runs with a long run, runs with fartleks mixed in (periodically increasing your speed during a run for a predetermined distance and then slowing back down again, then repeat), short speedy runs, tempo runs (running just under race-pace), and easy runs.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
If you’re like me, sometimes you need a goal or just an old fashioned kick-in-the-butt to get you motivated. Whether you’re a long-time runner or a newbie, make yourself some running resolutions for the New Year. In honor of 2009 here are 9 resolutions to think about. Pick one or use them all! Happy New Year!