Here are a few tips to consider when crafting your New Year’s resolution for 2014:
It’s easy to say, “I plan to run the Boston Marathon this year.” That’s a HUGE goal! Even as a well seasoned runner, I have the ultimate respect for anyone who completes a marathon. It requires 4 months of proper training, eating, sleeping and mental preparation for 26.2 miles. It’s intimidating; no doubt!
A better resolution might be to take on a couch to 5K program. Starting here and working your way up slowly to a marathon will make the transition 100 times easier, both mentally and physically.
When I was a collegiate athlete, I NEVER missed a day of practice. Not because I didn’t want to sleep in. I tried that one time, the entire team of 26 ran to my dorm room during their warm up to get me out of bed. My floor mates were even yelling at them to leave me alone; they were relentless. I got out of bed and completed one of the best workouts I’ve ever run.
It’s always easier to run in a group than by yourself. There are many local running clubs, both formal (i.e. Somerville Road Runners, Mystic Valley, Melrose Running Club) and informal (i.e. the November Project), that are always happy to take on new members. If that’s not your style, find a friend that has a similar goal and set up time to workout together. When you’re laying in bed debating getting up, just think about your training partner standing on a street corner in the cold, waiting for you to show up for your morning workout. See if that gets you up!
Whenever I’m caught up in a training cycle, it’s easy to get out the door at some point in the day to go for a run. If it’s not before work, it’s right before dinner. I’ve been known to get out the door at midnight for a run every once in a while when I can’t squeeze it in. I’m crazy; I know! The fact here is that the run is always accomplished because I’m used to getting in that run every day. Once I finish a season and have some time off, it takes A LOT of effort to get back into my running routine. The couch always looks so good after work.
It can be difficult to form a habit, but once it become habitual, you’ll fall in love with the sport. It took me a full decade to become a devoted runner who looks forward to getting out the door everyday, but it happened! If it workedfor me, it will work for you. If you set a plan andstick to it, you eventually won’t need to worry about forcing yourself out the door.
So when you’re putting together this years resolution, keep in mind the above. It's easy to fall out of a resolution, but a little bit of planning and focus can change 2014 for the better.