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6 tips to make your running resolution stick in 2022

Making a resolution to run more? Or run better? Check out these suggestions to upgrade a resolution to a habit and start the year being your better.
Reading 6 tips to make your running resolution stick in 2022 4 minutes Next Learning to love hills
So you've made a New Year's resolution to improve your running - go further, faster, longer, or just to start running again. Its fairly likely that this isn't the first running resolution of your life and some of the previous promises probably didn't last.  Let's make 2022 different - the year that you turn a resolution into a sustained habit by creating a real plan to succeed.
Start with the 3 building blocks of your running capability - legs, cardio and (most importantly) your mind. Follow these simple tips and you should be covered on all three:
  1. Set your goals. Your goals are critical to your motivation so make them ambitious but not ridiculous. We all know that the best goals are specific and measurable ("I'm going to run twice a week" versus "I want to run more often") and better still if you can visualise them. If your goal is to run the New York marathon then download an image of the finish line, print it out and stick it on your refrigerator.
  2. Go public. Once you've set a big goal then make sure you tell people about it. Tell your friends and family. Start a fundraiser.  Share on social media. The more you're invested in your goal, the harder it is to give up.
    You can prolong this effect by sharing progress - use a tracking device and a running app like Strava or Mapmyrun so every run gets posted and the kudos given by your friends boosts your motivation.
  3. Check your gear. You're going to be doing a lot more running than you have recently, are you sure that your shoes are still up to it? Research shows that running on worn shoes increases the chance of injury - joints, tendons or muscles. Its generally recommended to change shows every 300 miles so have a think about when you bought your last pair and how far they've run with you.
    After shoes, then invest in the right clothing for your January climate and don't forget about visibility on those dark morning outings.
  4. Get into a routine. We're talking about getting into a new habit here and that's hard. Its been said that it takes 21 days to make a habit so that's the most important period to get through. Setting specific times and days to run is an easy start. I've known people even go to lengths like going to bed at night wearing their running kit so they are that bit closer to getting out of the door for the morning run. At least leave your shoes out where you'll see them when you get up.
  5. Ramp with care. However big or small your goal, you really need to build steadily towards it. Unfortunately all too many running resolutions fail when the runner gets injured during an aggressive ramp-up, so listen to your body and avoid that pitfall. There are plenty of free training plans available online, so find one you like and stick to it.
    Some events you may aim for will only need a month or two - some may need much longer. I trained for a year to build up to an Ironman triathlon and stayed injury-free for the whole time.
  6. Keep going. Sounds obvious, right? Yet resolute runners are often masters of the 'not today' excuses. The weather is terrible (too cold, too wet, too hot - I've used them all). I have a headache after last night. I'm too busy today. I'll run tomorrow instead.
    There are a few ways to avoid this downward spiral. One is to confront the challenges, so deliberately go for a run when the weather is awful. As the Scandinavians say, "there's no such thing as the wrong weather, just the wrong clothing".
    At the end of the day, the best advice I ever had was from a trail running buddy in California who used to say "All miles are good miles". If you really can't face your scheduled run, then just go out for a short jog - its way better than staying at home.
So good luck, happy running and let us know how you're getting by adding a comment below

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2 comments

Ella

Ella

What I find helpful is to acknowledge that the first bit of your run might not be fun, but you’ll enjoy it more later -or just feel great when it’s complete. When you do run and you start to enjoy it, look at your watch and then you’ll get an idea of how far through you’re going to be when your endorphins kick in and you start to enjoy it. Think about that phase when you’re motivating yourself, rather than the first bit. I’ve also managed to convince myself that the weather will improve soon after I leave the building.

What I find helpful is to acknowledge that the first bit of your run might not be fun, but you’ll enjoy it more later -or just feel great when it’s complete. When you do run and you start to enjoy it, look at your watch and then you’ll get an idea of how far through you’re going to be when your endorphins kick in and you start to enjoy it. Think about that phase when you’re motivating yourself, rather than the first bit. I’ve also managed to convince myself that the weather will improve soon after I leave the building.

Coen

Coen

“Motivation gets you to the door. Discpline pulls you through it.”

I set myself a goal for my first 1/4 triathlon in June this year. Can’t wait to do it. Exercise has started but not only through running, swimming, cycling. Cross fit is a great way to build strength, gives some welcome variety in exercise type and is less hard on the joints than running.

“Motivation gets you to the door. Discpline pulls you through it.”

I set myself a goal for my first 1/4 triathlon in June this year. Can’t wait to do it. Exercise has started but not only through running, swimming, cycling. Cross fit is a great way to build strength, gives some welcome variety in exercise type and is less hard on the joints than running.

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