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.
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.
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?