‘New year, new me.’
Yes, it’s good to be positive, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Often we get a little too optimistic on January 1st and boast to everyone, runners and non-runners about this year’s ‘personal goals.’
“I’m going to shave 3 minutes off my 10k time.”
“I’m going to run an ultra marathon.”
“I’m going to run 10 ultra marathons in 1 month.”
Although, setting the bar high can be a good thing. And hey, you might even be a real super-star and not only shave 3 minutes off your 10k time, but shave FOUR minutes off your 10k time. If this is the case, WELL DONE! GOOD JOB. AMAZING. But for most, these goals are a little out of reach.
Set yourself realistic goals – you’re more likely to stick to them.
For example, if you drink every night and feel it would be beneficial to cut down on alcohol, try limit yourself to having a glass of vino every other day, rather than attempting to cut it out completely. Being teetotal probably won’t last forever – therefore even though you meant well, you’re likely to be unsuccessful at your NY resolution. You’ll then feel down about your failure. But it just wasn’t realistic.
Rather than saying I want to have a 10k time that is 3 minutes faster… why not just have the goal to beat it, no matter how large or small the improvement?
Or say – “I will make sure I do one hill session a week.” That, you can do.
“I will set aside time at the end of the cool down to work on strengthening my hips.”
“I will stretch my calves before and after every run.”
These resolutions, although small, are achievable, and will inevitably result in further rewards and benefits to your running and your health.
If on the other hand, you set the goal too high, remember that not only is failure likely, but injury too.
Small goals are still goals. They will nurture your running and encourage positive improvement.
Run to get faster, run to get fitter, run to feel healthier.
All the best,