Running should be a fun stress-reliever. Try making these 10 simple New Year’s resolutions. They’ll make you a better runner, and they might just remind you why you started running in the first place.
Once you become a regular runner, there’s no turning back — but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few New Year’s resolutions you can make to improve. When you haven’t gone running in a while, you just don’t feel like yourself. But if you’ve been running for years, it’s also easy to get bored and lose motivation. That’s why you should make some New Year’s running goals to spice things up again.
1. Find the perfect running buddy or running group
There’s nothing better than finding a running partner who goes at your pace and pushes you at the same time. Come and join our weekly Catch Me If You Can runs and scout for your ideal running partner to team up for races and challenge each other.
2. Sign up for that race you’ve always wanted to do.
Maybe you’re stuck in a 5K rut and want to try a 10K, or maybe you’re a half marathoner who wants to go for the full. Whatever distance you’ve been scared to run… go for it! Paying the race fee and having a date to work toward will motivate you to start training, and just think about the sense of accomplishment you’ll feel when you cross that finish line.
3. Eat properly.
Want to run better – Eat better. You don’t have to be a total health freak, but having a more nutritious diet will probably give you more energy.
4. Start strength training.
A lot of runners have super strong legs but weak arms. Even semi-regular training — with dumbbells or just your own body weight — can boost your all-around strength and improve your race times.
5. Listen to your body.
Give yourself a break if you experience aches and pains. Even if you’re training for a race, it’s not worth hurting yourself. Get some R&R, then hit the sidewalk again in a few days.
6. Splurge on a piece of running gear that makes you happy.
Whether it’s a fancy pair of running shoes or stylish running pants, the right running clothes can make you feel more confident. You may be sweating, all red faced, but you can still look and feel fantastic doing it.
7. Discover new running routes.
Switch things up! Drive somewhere new to run, or join another running group in a different area. Ask around for favourite routes and do some research to find exciting, new and challenging running routes. Some of my favourites are Chapmans Peak, Sea Point promenade, Camps Bay to HoutBbay and Company gardens to Bo-Kaap.
8. Run on vacation.
Pack your running shoes with you wherever you travel. If you have time to go for a quick jog, you’ll have fun exploring your new surroundings. Whether you’re in a city or at the beach, the change of scenery is totally worth it.
9. Have fun.
Not every race has to be serious. Try a colour run, Park run, Pub run or obstacle race.
10. Set a PR.
In runner speak, that’s a personal record. Find a good training plan and stick with it. If you keep the rest of these resolutions, you’ll have fun along the way. Good luck!