January 1st is right around the corner and with that comes resolutions. Whether you’re an injured age-group ace or someone just getting started with a fitness routine, “START RUNNING” tops a lot of lists. But rather than just wishin’ and hopin’ and thinkin’ and prayin’, make your running resolution a reality by taking it one step at a time. (Pun intended.)
1. Find a plan.
These days, you can't swing an elephant around the internet without hitting a training plan. Couch 2 5K, Runner's World, Competitor, Active...the truth is out there. Pick a plan that matches your reality, and commit to this program for the month of January. It can take up to 4 weeks to build a new habit, so bribe yourself as needed. (New socks are always nice.)
2. Make it social.
Look to social media for inspiration, visit your local run speciality store for group runs, see if November Project is free fitnessin’ at a city park near you, check out social running sites like Strava. The more you can get others invested in your success, the more invested you will be. And the more invested you are in others, the more inspired you’ll be to keep going.
3. Set a goal.
Once you have a solid month of running under your rapidly shrinking belt, it’s time to up the ante. Races are obvious, but maybe it’s a certain number of miles and/or days per week. Or it could be a certain distance for a long run. Write it down. Tweet it out. ‘Gram it. Find a new training plan that fits with your goal. (See #1.)
4. Build a better running body.
Take the time now to be an athlete, not just a runner. You don’t need a gym or fancy equipment, just your body and 7 minutes. This program from Strength Running is an excuses buster - make the investment now, and you’ll run stronger and longer. Plus, running will probably suck less.
5. Give back.
Once you feel solid in your running habit (which you’ll know by how annoyed your friends, family and coworkers are by all your running talk), find a way to give back to your running community. Maybe it’s volunteering at a local race, or simply saying good morning to every runner you see during your morning miles. It could even be helping that friend of yours who’s looking to find a way to start running. Spread the running love. Disclaimer: Please check with your medical professional before beginning any exercise program, and follow their advice over ours.