New Year’s Day has come and gone, and with it so have many New Year’s Resolutions. Some experts say it takes 21 days to form a habit. By now your resolutions have either gone by the wayside or they are becoming a part of your lifestyle. Did you resolve to start running, run more, run farther, or improve on your running? If so, how are you doing? Here are some simple tips to help turn your running goals into a reality.
- Sign up for a race – Choose a race that is 2-3 months in the future and SIGN UP for it. By committing to a race, you have set up an automatic goal to work towards. Most beginners start with a 5K (3.1 miles), but if you have some experience under your belt, try for a longer distance than you have raced before or set a goal to beat a previous time.
- Find a training plan – There are tons of training plans for every race distance on the internet. From the ever popular “Couch to 5K” to Hal Higdon’s Marathon Plans. Finding a plan will help organize your workouts and show you how to make your goal more manageable.
- Put it on your Calendar – Write the workouts from the training plan you chose on your calendar. Marking it on the calendar will help make each workout seem like an appointment that should not be missed.
- Run with others – Running with other people is a great motivator. Not only is it nice to have company during a run, it will also help keep you accountable. If you know someone is waiting on you, you are less likely to skip out on a scheduled run. If you don’t have running friends, check out some of local running clubs such as The Gaston County YMCA Run Club, The Charlotte Running Club, or the Carolina Trail Runner Group.
- Run somewhere new – It may be easiest to lace up your shoes and head out your front door for a run, but running the same ol’ route can become monotonous. Try running in your local parks or another neighborhood you are familiar with and has safe roads to run on. If you are up for a challenge, try some of the trail systems in our area. The US National White Water Center, Crowders Mountain State Park, and Kings Mountain National Military Park all have many miles beautiful trails to run.
Most of all, make running fun! If it is not fun, you will not stick with it. Buy new running clothes, download upbeat music to run to, and reward yourself after each run. Do whatever you need to do to make running FUN. Happy running!