Did you start your New Year with the hopes of meeting and possibly exceeding a number of running goals? It’s easy to get sidetracked and allow a busy schedule to get in the way of the best intentions. If you’d like to give those goals another try, here are ten tips that might help you accomplish them this time.
1. Sign up for a race. If your goal is to be able to run a 10k without stopping, sign up for a race about three months into the future, giving yourself some time to prepare. Tell friends, family and business associates what you intend to do; the more people who support you, the better. Active.com has a listing of thousands of running races across the nation, chances are, there will be one near you.
2. Set mini-goals. Instead of setting just one major goal, set mini-goals along the way. Whether they’re weekly or monthly, it’ll be easier to accomplish your ultimate goal by breaking it up into goals that are smaller and easier to meet. Meeting a running goal is not only very motivating but also a great boost to your self-confidence, the more often you do it the better!
3. Cross-training. Runners need an occasional break from all of the high impact pounding their body takes, and it’s always a good idea to work other muscles that aren’t used by participating in your main physical activity. Yoga, Pilates, weight-training, cycling and swimming are all excellent cross-training exercises for runners.
4. Add hill training. Running uphill will increase your endurance, and when you return to flatter terrain it will seem much easier to meet your goal.
5. Schedule your workouts. Creating a schedule and crossing each activity off your list once it’s completed can be very motivating.
6. Change that inner-voice. All too often many of us have a nagging inner voice that seems to want to throw us off the right track. From “I can’t do it,” to “I’m too tired,” change these negative messages to something positive. Believe in yourself, and use words like, “I am an elite runner,” “I can make it,” etc.
7. Make yourself the number one priority. By working out and getting in shape you’ll have more energy to take care of other people and other responsibilities. While many of us feel guilty about taking the time to work out, consider it something that GIVES you more time instead.
8. Take time to recover. Remind yourself that rest periods enable you to grow stronger and make the most of your last workout, while enabling you to give it all the next time out.
9. Make sure you’re running correctly. Both beginning and veteran runners can benefit from taking the time to learn the correct running form. You’ll be able to run more efficiently, making it easier to accomplish your goals.
10. Don’t forget to reward yourself. You’re working hard and doing a great thing for your health. Once a month, or more often, if you’ve accomplished what you set out to do, be sure and give yourself a reward for the effort.
K.C. Dermody has been an avid runner, hiker, and yoga enthusiast for twenty years, and as a trained yoga instructor she taught a variety of students from senior citizens to competitive athletes. She also has an addiction to disc golf – especially promoting the sport to others, and enjoys combining her passion for sports, emotional and physical well-being with her love of writing. Follow her on Twitter @kcdermody or on her website at www.kcdermodywriter.com.