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Time has come a full circle again and we are into the New Year.
To be true to our New Year traditions, let’s set some resolutions for running.
Take out your pen and paper or the tools of your choice and let’s get started.
Here are 12 running resolutions ideas that will get your creative juices flowing.
So, let’s make this year a year to remember with success and fitness…
But before you dive in to the resolution examples, here are some concrete steps that you can take to set the resolutions properly and also to make your resolutions stick.
How to set your running resolutions?
Setting running resolutions is easy…
However, if you want to follow through and succeed at it, you will have to have a resolution that gets you excited!
Also, it should have the power to keep you excited until you develop a habit to stick with it.
Here are a couple of tips that will not only help you to set your running resolutions but will also help you to follow it through.
Have a resolution that challenges you yet excites you
If you set a resolution that doesn’t challenge you then you may get bored in some time and leave it.
Or worse, you may not even get started…
However, challenges are a funny thing – make them too hard, and you will not start, make them too easy, you will get bored.
You will have to find that perfect balance and pick your poison 😉
If you are a couch potato (forgive the expression), then you may set a resolution of running for 3 days a week.
If you have started running already, you may have the resolution to run your first 5K…
Again, if a half marathon is easy for you, then your resolution can be to run a full marathon…
So far so good…
However, if you are a beginner and you want to run a marathon immediately, you will not even start due to the sheer overwhelm of the task.
There is one more major problem that I’ve faced in the past and probably true for you as well.
You may set the resolution religiously, but you don’t have any emotional connect with your resolution.
You fail to run with it…
But why is emotional connect so important?
Well, emotions can move mountains…
Whoever knows me or has read my other blog posts, knows that I started running around 18 months back.
Before that, I ran almost 10-15 years ago…
The scare that my health issues gave me and the painful picture that my mirror painted.
Previously my family kept on reminding me of my weight, but it was not painful enough to make a change.
So, no matter what, find your emotional connection with your resolution.
Once you have the resolution at hand, ask yourself:
Are you feeling excited about the resolution? Are you feeling happy?
Is there a slight smile on your lips when you read the resolution and visualize the outcome?
If the answer to most of these questions is ‘Yes’, then you have the perfect resolution in your hand.
Also, any painful emotional will also do, as was my case.
Mile by mile, one walks far
Once you have the resolution, your immediate action will determine your success.
I don’t mean that you put on your running shoes and rush out of the door.
Instead, create a plan about how you are going to achieve your resolution.
Identify the smallest steps that make up your resolutions.
In other words, break down your resolution into manageable chunks.
After that set a start and end date for the resolution.
Once those are figured out, you then work out the final details of scheduling the rest of the chunks in between.
And voila! you have a workable plan.
Identify an accountability partner
If you are on your own, then you may quit when you hit your first roadblock.
At that time your accountability partner will help you to stay on track!
This person can be anyone, a friend or a family member – but he/she should be invested enough to see through your success.
Now that we know how to set the resolutions, here are some examples of resolutions that you may use.
12 Running Resolutions You Should Make For this New Year
1. Resolve to start running in spite of your excuses
Let’s be honest. You have seriously thought of running a number of times in the past. However, you could never push yourself out of that door.
Well, it was too early in the morning, you were too tired, it was already late for an evening run, you were too old to run, you were too fat to run – and a lot of thoughts like that.
In short, a lot of excuses…
As they say, be stronger than your excuses – this time.
Take steps – baby steps if need be, but take concrete ones in the direction of your dreams. Give yourself a fair chance by sticking onto your plan for 4 weeks at least.
This will help you to create that running habit that you always wanted for yourself.
2. Start running again even if you are out of shape or have stopped for some time
Getting started with running again may be tougher than people think it is.
Some thoughts that may deter you are like:
You have already run in the past and now your fear that you will not be able to match up with your younger self.
You have put on some weight throughout the years and now you want to run but is completely out of shape.
You are more scared of disappointing yourself than to get started.
Believe me – I can completely understand you.
I’ve been there…I stopped running after high school and for more than a decade.
I was forced to start again to cope with some health issues and terrible mood swings.
But alas…it was a struggle…mostly because my mind and my heart were not in one place.
If you are trying to start again after taking a break, then accept that it will be a challenge.
You will not be your former self and you may even disappoint yourself after your first run…
But if it is any good news for you, you will improve your running greatly in a very short period of time.
Because your body remembers…there is something called muscle memory…You will return to your former self way faster than any other newbie…
Just that you should not be too upset with your first couple of days (weeks) of running performance…
3. Resolve to test your limit by running your first half marathon
Maybe you have just started running or have been running for some time, but you have always been scared of all those big scary races!
You think you are not cut out for it.
Let’s change that this year…every runner can run a half marathon, or even a full one…you just need to make up your mind and train.
Resolve to stretch your limits this year, and run your first ever half-marathon.
Just a word of caution, train properly for this big race, else you will injure yourself.
4. Resolve to run a faster half marathon as a tribute to your running idol
You have run a half marathon before and you are planning to do that again.
You only wish you could match up to the speed of your favorite running idol.
But for that, you need a lot of training and dedication…If you can afford that much time, go for it…
If not, resolve to shave off at least 10 min from your half marathon time.
Analyze each component of your training and find a way to improve it every bit.
All these little efforts may seem to be futile at first – but the end result will be so worth it.
5. Resolve to take precaution to run injury-free
Running and injury go hand in hand and most of the time, it may be because you are not taking proper precautions.
You may have noticed some dull pain in your hips for some time but ignored it, or you have been skipping strength training for weeks.
However, make this year different.
Don’t let your old habits get you injured again. Go back and check what you did for the past couple of months.
If you keep a training log, you will be able to easily nail the problem that got you injured in the first place.
Resolve to banish those problems once and for all.
6. Resolve to do more cross-training to become a better runner
Runners love running – both you and me.
Not so much!
The point we miss is, cross-training is as important as running…Firstly, it helps your body to not get used to running.
Also, it conditions your body in such a way that it becomes more proficient in avoiding injuries.
As runners, we tend to avoid it as we don’t like it or understand its importance.
Instead what we do? We run more compounding the problem.
This year be a different version of you…Don’t only run, but also, cross-train more…
This will keep you out of trouble for a longer period of time. Also, it will help you to become a stronger runner.
7. Resolve to set a new PR for your daily run to motivate you to strive for more
As a runner, you may hit a plateau after some time.
This is very common…
However, if you consistently see yourself not improving, your natural instinct kicks in and you give up.
You lose your motivation and all the hard work that you have put in the last couple of months.
This year set a new resolution that you will set a new daily PR.
Don’t get me wrong…I’m not telling you to set a new PR every single day.
Instead, set a new PR once in a while…
This will keep you motivated to keep going and you will want to strive for more.
8. Resolve to try cycling for cross-training for a greener environment
Not many people know it, but cycling is another great cross-training alternative other than rowing.
This year resolve to take your cycling outside your house and on to the streets of your city.
Roam around in the city in your cycle and at the same time finish your cross-training for the day.
Also, if possible, commute to your office on your bike…this will reduce your overall carbon footprint and will make our mother earth greener.
So, resolve to include cycling into your routine and be double awesome.
9. Resolve to be proud of the runner you are and not compare yourself with others
This is very human…
You tend to compare yourself with others…their achievements are bigger than yours, they run faster than you, they are stronger than you…so on and so forth…
But who knows, they may secretly envy you for your flexibility and upbeat nature…
Secretly they may be struggling with some of their old injuries…
Also, to have this level of performance, they may have been training for years and you may have started just a couple of months back.
Don’t compare yourself with others…you are awesome the way you are…
Just focus on getting better than your yesterday’s self…That’s it
10. Resolve to be grateful to your body rather than cursing it
OMG! my tummy has become so big…I’ve bat wings…
I am so slow at running…My legs are so thin…My thighs are so big…
Being a woman, I have these same insecurities and fear that you have…
But what I realized in the past one and a half years is that no matter the shape of my body, it is still amazing…
Although thin, my legs carry me to places and support my run no matter what…Although fat my arms keep me balanced during running.
My fat tummy can still endure the grueling that I put it through in the gym…
In other words, my body though out of shape supports me in every way possible…
It is true for you as well…no matter your shape your body is perfect…they help you to enjoy a fuller life.
So, stop shaming it and resolve to completely accept it this year…This acceptance will help it to respond faster to all the workouts and you will have a transformation in no time…
11. Resolve to be more consistent and stick to your training plan
What stops your progress as a runner?
Resolve to be a more consistent runner this year and no matter what, don’t skip the Monday running.
Also, make sure you follow your training completely.
You have chosen this training plan for a reason.
It will keep you progressing even if you have lost all your motivation or you have lost faith in your abilities.
So, resolve to consistently follow your training plan and see it through.
12. Resolve to give your body the rest it deserves
The rest seems to be unnecessary…don’t you think?
I used to think the same thing…until I started getting injured more often…
My body was screaming for help, but I was not ready to listen to it…
Don’t be that person…
When you rest, your body gets to repair itself…
After the resting period, you are not only repaired but also is stronger…
You will be able to perform better the next day…So resolve to give your body the rest it needs…
This will be easier if you stick to your training plan as they have in-built rest days and will force you to take off…
Why running resolutions fail?
Have you heard – “Failure is the pillar of success?”
But running resolutions are such things that seem like no pillar can save them.
Why is that?
Most of the time we set resolutions in a haste and by end of 5th January half of us have already quit, and by the time February arrives, 80% of us have hanged our boots.
However, if you take a bit of care when setting your resolutions, your chances of success will become manifold.
Here are some tips to avoid failure with your resolution:
Set a specific resolution – You may have either a resolution like Eat healthier or Eat 3 home-cooked meals in a week.
Which one is easy to follow? The second one right?
In the first one, it is very vague, whereas in the second one you know exactly what you need to do…
Set no more than 3 resolutions – Why? You will have to deal with the resolution overwhelm…You will feel pulled from all sides and eventually you will not make any substantial change.
However, 2-3 resolutions are manageable by all of us and you will be able to stick with it till the end.
Don’t set an unachievable resolution – Let’s say you have never run in your life…you set a resolution to run a marathon in a month…
Possible? Probably…but it is guaranteed to get you injured…
And most importantly, you may not even start with your training…
The resolution is too intimidating…And you will be scared even to start.
You are not accountable – Relying on willpower can be your biggest mistake…It will betray you when you need it the most…At that time, you need an outside enforcer.
This is where your reliable friend or family member comes into play. They will not let you derail and you can continue on your set target without much effect.
Accept that there will be setbacks – Success is great…but the path to success is not rosy. You will fail, you will be forced to stop and there will be other setbacks.
Accept that…however, make sure that you don’t stop because of that…
If you take care of these things, you will be a huge running success this year.
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