Resolutions Every Runner Should Make

I’ve driven 13 hours in the last 2 days by myself. I am not a talk radio, audiobook, podcast type person. I get bored easily. I broke this rule after I realized my 4 hour drive today was going to be at least 6, when I listened to a few Another Mother Runner podcasts. Karen listens to them often when she runs, and I decided to give them a try.

As it turns out, I’m confidently not a podcast listener. I just can’t deal with the unstructured nature of them. But, in the one I did make it through was an old one on runner’s resolutions and given the time of year, it helped add some structure to the thoughts that had been rolling around in my head for the last few weeks.

So here are my takes on some resolutions every runner should have for 2014:

Don’t make resolutions, set goals This comes straight from Another Mother Runner, and I have to agree. Resolutions have no plans attached to them, and expect an immediate change overnight. That’s unreasonable, and sets you up for failure. If you’ve never run a mile, make a goal to run a mile. Create a plan of how you’ll do it, attach time limits to it, and think through the potential risks or hurdles you could encounter so that you can mitigate them. A good rule of thumb is the SMART goal.

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Get outside your comfort zone This doesn’t mean everyone needs to sign up for a marathon, or an ultra. It means do something different. If you usually run alone, find a running group to join for a few runs, or vice versa. Try a new type of workout. Try a trail run or race. Just do something that when you’re about to do it, makes you question yourself a little.

Support your local running store These days, just about every neighborhood in major cities have their own running stores, and many smaller cities and towns have them. Instead of ordering something online, or shopping at a big box store, go check out your local store. I can promise you that you won’t regret it. At the very least you’ll meet some new people who love running at least as much as you, probably more. Philadelphia Runner was one of the first places I went when I first moved to Philly. I’ll occasionally buy something online if its got a really good sale, or something they don’t carry, but the majority of the running critical items I have, I got from them. I chat with whoever is working, learn about new shoes, upcoming races or training runs, and just generally get to know the awesome people who work there. Thanks to them, I’ve got New Year’s and Valentine’s Day plans already. Also, they’re local, so you’re supporting local jobs, always a plus.

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Sporting my Philly Runner shirt in Chicago this summer

Listen to your body As runners, we tend to ignore most aches and pains. If we listened to them too often, we’d never run again. But listening to them doesn’t mean giving up. It might just mean you need to strengthen up some parts of your body. It might mean taking an extra non-running day to get in some gentle or restorative yoga. It might mean taking some time away from the running shoes, but it could mean just running smarter. Heck, it’s your body, I have no idea what it’s saying, but I know mine is asking for a little break post Disney. It doesn’t mean I won’t run, but I will be happy to not have every weekend filled with 13, 15, 18, 20. At least for a bit.

Run for something bigger Whether you run for someone who cannot run, guide a disabled runner, or raise money while running, running to give back is always a positive. There are so many amazing charities who need support, some need time, others money (okay, they all need money) but figure out how you can give back by doing what you’re already going to do anyway, running.

Focus on fueling your body I love food. Don’t get me wrong, but the more I run, the more I realize what I’m putting in my body matters more than ever. If I eat garbage, my runs will reflect it, or I will have a very difficult time recovering from a long run. My personal focus on this for next year will be continuing to focus on weekly prep so I have no excuse, and sticking with an 80/20 rule so that can also enjoy time out with friends, or heaven forbid, start really dating again.

Remember why you love to run This year I filled up my race calendar, and it was awesome. It got me running consistently so that I now love it. But the reason I love running isn’t for the races, it’s for the time away from everything else. It’s for the high I get and keep for hours. It’s the confidence it’s built in me. Take time next year to remember why you love it. And do it often.

So as you’re putting your final touches on your goals for next year, keep these in mind. And if you’re in Philly, join Philly Runner’s Resolution Run on January 2nd.

What is one thing you think every runner should do next year?
What charities or organizations have you run with or for?
Are you doing any Resolution or New Year’s runs?

16 thoughts on “Resolutions Every Runner Should Make

  1. Pingback: My Goals For 2014 : The Frolicking Fells

  2. That last point about remembering why one runs is so great. I took two weeks off after my first marathon and the quick way in which the 6+ hours I spent each week training got filled up with work commitments was scary. I quickly found myself becoming very exhausted and when I took a look at my schedule I realized that I was working a lot more and had done nothing to ensure that I still had time for stress-relieving activities. Through that experience, I came to realize that the mental health benefits of having time away from work stress was just as important of the physical health benefits that came from all of the exercise!

    • It really is amazing. I used to apologize if I left early to make a run group or was late because I ran long in the morning, but stopped. I realized there’s no reason to apologize for doing something good for myself that makes me a better employee.

  3. Pingback: 2014 will be the year of 1000 | Run Stretch Go

  4. I run with the “I Run 4 Michael” group on Facebook. So inspiring! I don’t have any runs planned on New Years Day (will most likely be dead), but I plan on running on NYE! I think every runner next year should treat themselves — new shoes, massage, extra time with the foam roller, hot bath, etc. at least once every training session! Maybe even once a month! I know I need a massage…I’m just too cheap to get one!!

    • I love the idea of doing something for yourself each month. I joined a local massage place that specializes on athletes so I get discounted massages. It was such a good decision. But I need to become better frenemies with my foam roller too.

  5. I’m glad I stumbled across this post. I woke up early this AM with thoughts of goals cluttering my head. I actually felt a little overwhelmed thinking about all the things I would like to accomplish. Love that I can use the SMART Goals formula for my running goals and also some personal goals.

    Great Post!

    • Thank you! It’s definitely tough to plot everything out in an orderly fashion when you’ve got so much you want to do.

      I hope you have a great rest of 2013 and kick off 2014 with a bang!

  6. I love these tips! I’ve been thinking about joining a local running club for a while, so that might be the one big thing I do next year. And that Resolution Run sounds tempting, but I’ll probably be at the Mummer’s Parade instead! I promise I’ll still run that day though 🙂

  7. Oof that’s a lot of driving! And you have some great goals! I dunno what my goals are other than keep running and do like you said – try not to go 2 days in a run without running.

  8. These are all great things to focus on. I especially like the focus on supporting local running stores and charities. My favorite race memory from 2013 was a local race sponsored by a local running store. In 2014, one of my goals is to run more of their races so that I’m not only supporting local charities and the local store but so that I also add more smaller runs to my race calendar as well.

  9. I’ve been using the SMART goal system for years at work and love that I can use it with my running goals.

    Our local running club has several runs throughout the year and each one is for a different local charity, I love being able to run these races and give back to my new community. Our local running stores are downtown, within a block of one another, and I have met some passionate runners in each of the stores. They are my favorite places to go on a Saturday.

    I have two resolution runs (Jan 1st and 5th) this year and can’t wait to fill up my calendar with more.

  10. Great goals that every runner should make when considering their 2014 plans. I know we chatted goals on our run. Thanks for helping me lay out a plan for reaching my goals for next year.
    I’ve never run for a charity but would love to run for Team CHOP (in honor of my brother) and become a part of Sole Mates (to support Girls on the Run) and run local races to support local charities.

    Karen @karenlovestorun

    • You should definitely be a charity runner next year! It’s such a fun way to make your miles mean so much more. I’ve run for DetermiNation and for LLS in honor of my grandparents. I’m trying to decide which race and charity will be on my calendar next year.

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