Starting a New Years Running Resolution….and How to stick to It
Every year it seems as if the issue comes up. After spending every day since Thanksgiving thumbing through catalogs and internet sites looking at the sweetest new shoes to ever grace a runners feet, the time has arrived. Maybe the bathroom scale has been moved from beside the tub to downstairs near the refrigerator. (If not, this is a remarkable idea).
Then there is the more practical approach. Keeping the much talked about “New Years Resolution” is not nearly as hard as it would seem. Where most people fall away from the promise is by not planning how the enactment of the promise is going to happen. For example, a resolution that says, “I am going to run two miles every day” is a practical pledge, but there needs to be some planning. Is the running going to occur before the day begins? If so, start setting the clock for that time well prior to January 1st. This way the body will be used to the time switch before the actual commitment begins. If it is to be done later in the day, is the run going to fit into the schedule. If not, then the schedule must be changed, but the resolution should be kept, not the other way around.
Also, should one become to winded or tired to complete the run, the temptation will exist to put the whole idea to rest and have a bag of potato chips. However, there is a much better solution. Even if the tiredness and fatigue sets in after the first half mile (or even LESS), don’t surrender. Instead, finish the two miles, walking if need be. In no time at all it will quite easy to walk these two miles. Soon the first three quarters of a mile will be ran…then more. There is no one waiting to belt the knuckles with a ruler should perceived failure come at first. Such problems can, and with diligence and commitment will, be overcome. Do not be discouraged. Discouragement will only lead to excuses, and that will lead to a “logical reason” to stop the coming progress. Do not fall victim to this.
Climate should be considered, as well. There are two ways to approach the problems that come with climate, but no matter where a runner lives, weather will always be a factor. Austin, Texas runners face dreadful heat, while Ohio and Maine runners freeze in frigid conditions. It should be noted that once a person becomes used to the workout, the temperature tends to matter less and less as the weeks progress. Simply securing the right kind of garments and outerwear will go a long way towards making such running easier. Some runners choose snowboarding attire to run in since some if it can be both lightweight and all but water proof.
Plan B to fight the burr (or the scorching heat) is to get a membership at a gym. Most gyms today have a running track, and many of these memberships are only about ten to fifteen dollars a month. Many runners find it easier to remain inspired and committed to the New Years resolution once the dreadful snow is factored out. Not only that, but many times, once engaged in a gym, many other healthy options will become inviting. This is a good thing as well, just remember, it is the running resolution that is to be first kept.
As for things to help in terms of diet, the most vital element is hydration, particularly in the colder areas of the world. This is because when it is 90 degrees outside, it is easy to tell when the body is craving water. This is not always as clearly well defined when it comes to running in the cold. The chill can sometimes give a false sense of hydration, which can lead to cramping and more. Also, if cramping does present itself as a problem, remember two things. First of all, this is not a race. There is no reason to work so hard that the run is agony.
Secondly, it is remarkable the change that will come about just from the simple act of proper stretching. As a matter of fact, if the above example of setting the clock back an hour to allow for time is employed, set the clock back for an hour and fifteen minutes. Use that extra fifteen minutes to stretch before the run happens. This one simple tactic can be the difference between a pleasant run or a grueling one. This can not be over stressed.
Last but not least, know the gear that is being used. If one is running trails, then make sure that the traction is fitting to the terrain. If the running being done is in a gym, then make sure that the weight of the shoe is complimentary to the area. A heavier shoe in some circumstances for some runners is not needed. If it is possible to go with a lighter running shoe (for some with wider feet or of a bigger stature this may not apply), then it can be wise to do so. This makes for less work on the upper leg muscles.
With these tips put to good use, the New Years Resolution this year is going to be not only kept, but surpassed. Fret not, very few people really savor the run at first. The good news is that after the first few weeks, it is something that begins to seem ordinary, and then before long, loved. It becomes a refuge after some time, a time alone or with a loved one – time well spent. Running is both good for the body and the mind, so remember these facts, too. When a person recalls the benefits that come from doing such a workout, this also inspires. If in training, imagine the thrill of completing (or even WINNING) the race! Now that is inspiration, so lace up, and get out there. See you on the track!