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10 New Year Resolutions Every Runner Should Make

Every runner needs to have goals. Whether you are running your first 5k or your 10th marathon, runners of all levels need goals to help boost confidence and ignite training through the New Year. As a runner, chances are you have read about or heard about the best training advice out there. However, our plans are not always put into action. Sometimes life gets too busy and other times we are just so set in our old ways that we forget to try something new.

Whether you are a beginner runner or a seasoned professional, let’s make 2014 a year full of new personal records, boosted confidence and new running routines that take us outside of our comfort zone. January is the time to make our runs happier and healthier. Read on for 10 New Year resolutions every runner should make.

10 New Year Resolutions Every Runner Should Make

1. Pick a focus for the year and stick with it
What kind of runner do you want to become this year? Do you want to become faster? Do you want to improve your endurance and be able to go the distance? Whatever your goals are, identify them early in the year and make a promise to yourself that you are going to work towards that goal. If you are looking to improve on speed, commit to interval training. If you want to improve your mileage, make a promise to yourself that you will go on longer runs.

New-Year-Resolutions-Running

Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

2. Replace your running shoes on a regular basis
Running shoes should be replaced every 300-500 miles. Keep track of your mileage and replace your shoes when it’s time. A good pair of running shoes is essential if you are going to commit a great year as a runner. Running in shoes that are worn out can increase your risk of injury, which can mean time spent on the sidelines instead of working towards your goals. Additionally, visit a running shoe specialty store (if you haven’t already) and invest in pair of shoes that are just right for your feet and running style. As a runner, you should never buy shoes because the price is right, a good pair of running shoes may cost a little more but they are well worth it in the long run.

3. Get yourself signed up for a race that you are excited about
View a list of races in your area and find a race (or multiple races) that you are excited about. Maybe you want to run to support your favorite charity or you want to commit to your first half marathon. Find a race that motivates you and get yourself signed up as early as possible.

4. Don’t just focus on your running, train your entire body
While it may not seem like it at times, running requires the use of your entire body. Make it your goal this year to engage in total body training. Remember, it is not just your legs doing all the work when you go for a run. Developing a strong core and upper body strength can help to reduce some of the strain on your lower body. This can help prevent your risk of developing an overuse injury, which can set you back when it comes to training. By training your entire body, you may be able to help improve your speed or endurance. If you are not quite sure how to engage in total body training, you might want to consider investing in a few sessions with a personal trainer to get you on the right track.

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5. Remember, stretching is your friend
Too often than not, you may find yourself too busy to stretch. Other times, you just may not feel like stretching. We’ve all been there! It’s okay to admit it. However, this year make a promise to yourself not to overlook stretching. Make stretching a part of your running routine. Running places a great deal of stress on your muscles as the result of the same repetitive motions. This can lead to a great deal of muscle soreness and tightness as well as tightness in your tendons and ligaments. A lack of stretching is often why many runners do not consider themselves flexible. Aim to incorporate stretching or a yoga class into your routine. Your muscles, ligaments and tendons will thank you for it. Increased flexibility and injury prevention are very important for runners of all levels.

6. Invest in a foam roller
While most people may have a love/hate relationship with the foam roller, remember the foam roller is your friend. You can pick a foam roller up for around $30 at your local sporting goods store or at a local big box store and quickly start to reap the rewards of this simple piece of fitness equipment. A knotted IT band or calves can be a runner’s worst nightmare. While foam rolling can sometimes be agonizing. It’s worth it in the end when your muscles are less tight.

7. Make it a point to drink plenty of H20 this year and always
Remember to stay hydrated. It cannot be stressed enough how important hydration is for runners. Invest in a new water bottle or leave your water bottle by your running shoes. Do whatever it takes to remember to stay hydrated. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, muscles cramps, and headaches. All of which can have a negative impact on your goals of becoming the best runner you can possibly be.

8. Run for fun
Remember, running does not always have to be so serious. Get out there with a running buddy (a friend, spouse, sibling, etc.) and remember why you fell in love with running in the first place.  You can even make training fun. Create a playlist that gets you motivated to push through those long runs.

9. Aim for what most runners dread: running hills
Be a thrill-seeker and challenge yourself in 2014 and stop avoiding hills. Sure, running hills is a lot more challenging than running on flat surfaces. However, the thrill of accomplishing something that many others avoid should be enough to get you to the top. If you can accomplish this task, you can build the confidence to tackle any running obstacle you may come across.

10. Be kind to your feet
Remember, that you need to treat your feet every once in awhile. Invest in some moisture-wicking socks to help prevent blisters and keep your feet cool. Additionally, know when it is time to give yourself a rest. If your feet start to hurt, take a break or opt to engage in some low-impact exercise (cycling, swimming, or the elliptical for example). An overuse injury can really make training challenging.

Happy New Year and Happy Running!