‘Tis the season for holiday cheer, cold runs, tons of food, and previous year reflections. Whether you achieved your 2013 fitness goals or not it’s time to start thinking about 2014. Knowing what you accomplished this year will only help you choose what new accomplishments to shot for in the New Year. Having a new goal set prior to January 1st will help ensure you a successful running year! Let these accomplish help you move forward to bigger accomplishments.
This Year: Never Ran
Next Year: Run Occasionally
If you’re thinking of starting a fit and healthy lifestyle and picking up running start slow. Running is great form of exercise but can be scary at the beginning. Setting weekly goals will not only help break down any running fears you may have but also allow you to see your progress through the months and year. Start small and continue to progress until you reach a level you are happy and satisfied with.
This Year: Run Occasionally
Next Year: Run Regularly
If you already run occasionally but are looking to increase your mileage or speed start running regularly. Become more consistent with your runs by scheduling at least 4-5 runs a week including hill runs, fast runs, and easy runs. These different runs will help improve your endurance as well as continue to keep you motivated.
This Year: Never Ran a Race
Next Year: Run a 5K Race
So you run regularly but you’ve never registered or ran a race?! Start small by registering for your first 5K. Start by asking your local running store which 5K they recommend or if they have any upcoming 5K races. Many local running stores host their own races throughout the year. If you’re running store does host small races this is a great way to get more involved with the store, run your first race, and start meeting other runners in your community. On race day, remember to line up near the back of the pack on either the right or left side to help with any walk breaks that might be needed. Also, always remember, HAVE FUN!
This Year: Finished Your First Race
Next Year: Run Faster
Now that you’ve ran and completed your first race it’s time to get faster. To get faster you have to run longer while including speed-work. Once again, start off slow with one long run at a good speed once a week. As you continue to improve start incorporating more long runs throughout your week/weekends. Also, this is a great time to start incorporating speed-work into your workouts to help increase your overall speed. Speed-work includes, regular sprints, hill sprints, and intervals. These little things will only help improve your speed throughout time.
Knowing what you learned from the previous year and how you are going to accomplish your new year fitness goal will only lead to your overall fitness success. With the helpful tips above along with a six, nine, or twelve-month plan you can accomplish any running adventure. Remember, failing to plan is planning to fail.