We are officially one week into the new year. Resolutions, goals, and aspirations for the new year are alive and well. Excitedly checking boxes while making a conscious effort to "achieve" comes with ease this early in the year. Still, more often than not, some find themselves quickly derailed due to life, lack of motivation, or the realization that the resolution far exceeded realistic expectations.
Before you begin to question which goals are manageable and which may be too far-fetched, let us remind you that YOU CAN CHANGE, ADAPT, OR ALTER YOUR RESOLUTIONS throughout the year. Yes, it can be great to set the bar high, but the path to reach it is forever evolving, and it's essential to embrace and understand this.
New year's resolutions may look like a year's worth of calendar events for runners. Monthly short distant races set to develop speed and technique, a handful of middle-distance events to work on stamina, and a few goal races such as marathons or ultra-marathons to cap off a training block. Before your race schedule is set, be mindful that your race calendar is entirely dependent on how your body reacts to the training load. Whether you're new to running or a seasoned vet, there will be variables throughout the year that may seem unimaginable this early in the year. Approach your resolutions with grace, with an eye for adaptability.
4 Necessary Appointments For Runners To Begin The Year
Visit your primary care physician for a routine physical. If you're new to running, inform your PCP that you will be running this year. Let them know how important this is to you mentally and physically.
Have labs drawn to assess for any vitamin deficiencies. Catching deficiencies early in the year will help you better prepare and adjust your nutritional needs to match your training for maximum performance and recovery. Meet with a sport-specific registered nutritionist to appropriately structure dietary needs to support performance and recovery.
Schedule an appointment with a sport's specific chiropractor or physical therapist with knowledge in running. These assessments can do wonders to help prevent injury, address musculoskeletal imbalances, fine-tune recovery and active recovery techniques, and maximize performance and longevity throughout the year.
Consult with a certified running coach. If you're new to running, it can be beneficial to discuss your goals from the year with a coach that can help structure a realistic plan. A coach will help ensure that you are progressing in mileage safely, reduce the risk of overtraining, and help develop a balanced training load that gels with everyday life.
How To Create Achievable Running Goals
Set measurable daily, weekly, and monthly goals.
Every day is an opportunity to improve, but a missed training day does not mean the week is a bust. Setting these small bitesize opportunities for improvement allows yourself a greater possibility to achieve.
Keep a journal or download an app to review your progress.
When training, it's essential to have a place to review progress made. Portions of the year will be more challenging than others, and performance gains with running take time. Having one location to look back on steps made will help keep motivation high while allowing you to acknowledge accomplishments.
Tell a friend or family member about your goals.
For accountability and to create a loving and supportive team around you. Although running is physically an individual sport, it takes a team to reach the finish line.
Celebrate the small stuff.
The first time you complete a mile, celebrate. When you finish the first race of the season, celebrate. Even when you get up at 4 a.m. to get a training run in before work, celebrate.
2022 is your year to do with as you please, and by actively deciding to start running or to build upon last year's improvements, you are setting yourself up for success. We will cheer for you, and I will cheer for you. Let's make 2022 the best yet.