Our new blogger, physiotherapist Scott Mitchell, explains how to keep on track with your running resolutions for the new year.
Every year it’s the same: after the Christmas celebrations and excesses the New Year looms, guilt sets in and we start to think of making New Year resolutions. You are reading this article so I’m going to assume that running is part of your New Year health kick. Congratulations! Running is one of the best ways of getting fit, becoming stronger and when combined with sensible nutrition is great for managing weight. It is relatively cheap in terms of equipment and once you have the kit, as they say, the roads are always open.
However, the problem is when you set goals (or even worse fail to set any goals) and then jump in too quickly, you may get an injury or lose focus and fall back into old routines and stop running. I want to share what I’ve learnt from my experiences both as an athlete and a physio working with runners so you can get the most out of your training and help you reach your New Year’s Resolutions for 2013.
The first thing is to work out what you what to achieve, what’s your ultimate running goal? It is worth sitting down and having a good think about what is going to inspire you to work hard over the next year.
Often when committing to exercise, part of the goal will involve weight management and then of course, there are the performance related targets. Perhaps the ultimate goal could be a reward for all the hard work and reaching short term targets through the course of the year, like a trip to race in an exotic destination. Many people will be looking to run their first marathon or the increasingly popular ultras and others will be looking to run fast times! Whatever you decide on, make it ambitious but also work out achievable short-term goals and consider the following points, which we'll cover in the next few pages: