It’s that time of year again, New Year’s Eve, where everybody reflects on the past 12 months and vow to make their next 12 months superior in every way. I don’t know about your year, but 2018 wasn’t the best year of my life. I had ups and I had downs, like every other ordinary person. Though I had a good year of running, there are ways I can improve my running life which got me thinking about new year resolutions.
What is a new year resolution?
New Year’s Resolutions are when a person identifies undesirable traits and behaviours about themselves and vows to change them. Common resolutions include losing weight, making more money, going to the gym, reading more books and going outside of your comfort zone in social settings.
A new year’s resolution can be literally anything. It’s simply a promise you make to yourself to improve an aspect of your character. As this is a running blog, you guessed correctly. We’re going to be looking at new year’s resolutions for runners.
Why bother to make new year’s resolutions for my running?
It doesn’t matter whether you’re Mo Farah, a semi-professional sprinter or a complete newbie to running, everybody has something they wish to improve upon. It could be technique and form, achieving a new personal best, being more consistent with training or even running more miles each week.
As with any area in life, it’s important to constantly evaluate your running progress and set new goals to achieve. That way, you always improve, and you do not stay at the same level forever.
“Become addicted to constant and never-ending self-improvement.” Anthony J. D’Angelo
I know, from personal experience, there is nothing worse than feeling like you are not progressing at something. Say you work in the same job for 10 years without a promotion, or you consider yourself a painter and never learn new techniques, or maybe you haven’t learnt a new skill in years. Not everyone will agree with me but for the most part not progressing in life is not a good feeling.
That’s why I’ve constructed this New Year’s Eve special of resolution ideas for runners to give you some inspiration next year. I might as well say, I will be using a lot of these resolutions myself as I feel I can improve my running a huge amount.
Enjoy the list and happy new year!
1. Run a marathon in 2019
For a runner, setting the target of completing a 26.2-mile race is perhaps the most common and well-known of all. Every year, millions of runner’s book and complete marathons. Completing a marathon is a tremendous sense of achievement because you need to train consistently in the months leading up to the race, eat well, reduce alcohol consumption and give it your all on race day.
Running a marathon is a common item on bucket lists for life because it is a huge undertaking and rewards those who complete them with a huge sense of achievement. I know I will certainly be booking and running my first marathon in 2019.
2. Be more consistent with your training in 2019
Easily my biggest new year’s resolution for my running. Being more consistent is something we can all work on with our training. It’s not very helpful if you run 20 miles one week then only 1 the next week. Consistency is crucial for conditioning the body and strengthening your fitness over time to make you a better runner.
I remember seeing an interview with the Brownlee Brother’s and when asked what the most important part of their training was, they replied it was consistency, without a doubt.
Try and make your training consistent in 2019. Maybe set yourself a target of running at least 7 miles a week in January, then upping it to 9 miles a week in February and so on. Of course, this is just an example and your individual goals and targets will vary. Whatever you do in 2019 with your running, make sure you keep it consistent.
3. Set yourself and achieve some personal bests in 2019
We all have personal bests (PBs) in different races. Our 5K, 10K, half-marathon & marathon times all have PBs attached to them to signify the quickest time you’ve ever run the distance.
Setting a goal for a new PB is a powerful motivator to improve your running performance. Suddenly, you have a tangible time target you must run a specific distance within. It’s easy to measure your performance and when you succeed in your goal.
Set at least 2 new PBs for your favourite events. Personally, I am setting a sub 18:30 5K & a sub 1:25 half-marathon target for myself. Set some target PBs and vow you’ll smash them in 2019!
4. Complete a cross-sport event, like a triathlon or duathlon
Booking and completing a cross-sport event like a triathlon will do wonders for your running. Training for a cross-sport event means you’ll train and focus on strengthening different muscle groups in your body which not only makes you fitter but also improves your running performance.
Triathlon training incorporates a challenging regime of swimming, running & cycling. Each of which stresses different muscles. Cycling strengthens the calf, thighs, glutes, arms and shoulders. Running works, the quads, hips, hamstrings, calf and abs. Swimming is particularly good for the upper-body as it targets the pectorals, deltoids, biceps, triceps, the wrist as well as lower body muscles like the glutes and hamstrings.
Not only will training for and completing a cross-sport event make you fitter, but it’s also always good to exit your comfort zone and take on a brand-new challenge. Completing a triathlon is one of my new year’s resolutions and I hope to complete one before 2019 is out.
5. Clean up your diet in 2019
We all know the phrase ‘you are what you eat’ and it’s completely true. If mainly you eat foods high in fat, salt and sugar, there’s a good chance you will be overweight and risk health issues like diabetes and high blood pressure.
Successful runners eat extremely well to ensure they are healthy and have proper fuel for running. It’s ideal to consume healthy carbohydrates like vegetables, whole fruits, legumes, nuts and whole grains before a race to provide sustainable fuel. Once the race is over eat healthy fats and proteins like fish, eggs, nuts and beans to repair and restore the body. A diet like this not only improves running performance but makes you feel and look healthier, so it’s worth committing too.
This is a challenging resolution, not just for runners but for everybody in the modern world. All around us we’re bombarded with adverts for fast food and quick fix ready meals, so overcoming temptation can be difficult. However, once you commit to a healthier diet for a week you’ll be feeling great and motivated to continue the habit. Make proper nutrition a priority, clean up your diet in 2019!
There you have it! Enjoy new year’s eve and let’s make 2019 the best we possibly can. See you on the other side!