New Year’s resolutions are always made with good intentions but not much resolve.
By March, most are usually long forgotten.
The very act of sticking to a resolution should be a resolution itself.
For the dedicated runner, a lot of it might be performance-related.
Like: Too much mileage vs. not enough mileage. Or too many calories vs. not enough calories.
According to Runner’s World magazine, if we keep our resolutions “small’’ (i.e., realistic), there’s a better chance they will still be in place, say, in April.
Here are some to consider:
- “I should take a day off every once in a while:” Good idea. Several studies have shown that taking a day or two off per week actually can enhance performance. Giving your body a chance to rest every so often can reduce the chance of injury. Also, overall fatigue can affect your workouts in a negative way. So designate a day each week to rest and relax and things should be better in the long run.
- “I’m going to see my doctor for an annual checkup:” Yeah, makes sense. Get the old blood pressure checked. Have a blood test to check for electrolyte levels, plus iron, etc. Have the MD shine a flashlight in all the right places. And, my favorite, taking a stress test on a treadmill until the duly impressed nurse says, “OK, Mr. Fish, that will be enough.’’
- “I’m committed to dropping a few pounds because, well, bathing suit season will be here before you know it:” Yes, the old weight loss resolution is the least successful of all. It’s because people tend to set unattainable goals. Face it, you can lose 10 pounds just by cutting out some of the snacks and late-night trips to the frig. So give that a shot and see if the race times don’t improve.
- “I will lower my stress levels on the job and at home:” Sounds easy but easier said than done. Running can be a calming influence on one’s life by using it as a time to reflect, to plan and to analyze problems. So use this time wisely. Try to figure out ways to streamline things, to be more pleasant throughout the day. A content runner is a better runner.
- “I am going to sleep more and get the rest I need:” Again, sure, you’re saying, that should be no sweat. Just go to bed early and wake up feeling refreshed. But the problem is, there’s so much good television on or there’s that book you’ve been meaning to finish. The compromise? Make sure to get seven or eight hours in the rack a few times a week. Your running performances are likely to improve.
- “I will listen to my body when it’s injured and not try to run through something that will nag me later on:” That whole ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure thing actually does work. If something starts to ache, chances are it’s because your body is rebelling. It’s telling you to stop overtraining or whatever. If you take a few days off now, it likely will prevent a much longer break later.
- “I want to run faster than last year but realize maintaining times close to last year is reasonable:” Time and again I’ve heard the one about the guy who wants to run a marathon as fast as he did 10 years ago. Guess what? Probably not going to happen. Train hard but train smart. Do the same workouts from a decade back but don’t expect the same results. That way you don’t set yourself up for failure. . .and disappointment.
Sunday: January 7, 2018
BCRR Winter Series Tyler Challenge 10K, 9 a.m., Tyler State Park, Newtown. Contact www.bcrrclub.com