This New Year, resolve to change your running for the better. It can be anything you like, from trying a new race distance to buying new shoes. To make sure you have no excuse for not vowing to improve, here are 20 ready-made resolutions to inspire you.
Now - chose two or three, put them in your diary, and stick to them...
I resolve to
Throw away those old running shoes
They smell, but more importantly theyre an injury waiting to happen.
I resolve to Run to or from work once a week
Why? A sure way of getting a run in. Youll feel great all day, and youll even be helping the environment.
I resolve to Smile, and say hello to everyone I meet on a run
Why? People sometimes complain that runners are a miserable, introverted bunch. Help knock that preconception on the head.
I resolve to Hold onto my used energy gel wrapper until I come across a bin
Why? They arent biodegradable, so dont just dump them on the riverbank.
I resolve to Find at least one training partner
Why? Forget the loneliness of the long-distance runner: running with other people is more enjoyable than running alone, and a little bit of friendly competition can even make you faster.
I resolve to Get on my bike
Why? If all you do is run, you can get stale or, worse, injured. Cycling is excellent cross-training for runners. Its low impact, provides an excellent aerobic work-out, and beats the car for commuting!
I resolve to Help a beginner
Why? Remember what is was like when you started running? If a colleague or friend is just starting out, join them on runs, encourage them, lend them your back issues of RUNNERS WORLD. Do all the things you wish someone had done for you!
I resolve to Leave my watch at home for one run a week
Why? Not every run is a race. Time has its role as an objective means of assessing your progress, but sometimes it creates pressure that you just dont need.
I resolve to Join a running club
Why? A club will add structure, motivation and competition to your running, as well as adding a new social dimension to your favourite sport.
I resolve to Help one non-runner become a runner
Why? Because it could be the most challenging, but rewarding, thing you ever do!
I resolve to Stretch after every run
Why? Post-run stretching has been proven to help keep injury at bay, and increasing your flexibility can help you become a more efficient runner.
I resolve to Talk to the person next to me at the start of races
Why? Whether were at the sharp end or bringing up the rear, were all in it together. And a chat before the gun goes does wonders for pre-race nerves.
I resolve to Read the food labels in the supermarket
Why? As a runner you can get away with eating some things that you shouldnt. But too much fat, or salt, or sugar still isnt good for you. And you might be surprised just how much junk is in some of your favourite treats.
I resolve to Snack on fruit, rather than sweets
Why? We should eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. When those mid-morning hunger pangs strike, munch on dried apricots, an apple, a banana
itll satisfy you and provide essential vitamins, minerals and trace nutrients.
I resolve to Strengthen my upper body
Why? Strong legs are essential to runners, but dont neglect your top half. Strengthening your arms, back and abdominals will improve your posture and running form.
I resolve to Try something different
Why? If all you ever do is run 5Ks, marathons or 1500s, sooner or later youll get bored. Race a bit further than normal, go shorter, try cross-country or a triathlon. A new challenge will re-ignite your enthusiasm for running.
I resolve to Dream an impossible dream
Why? You set the limits on what you can do. The first step to achieving a goal is believing that you can do it. Youll be surprised how far you can push yourself with mental determination and commitment.
I resolve to Have at least a week off each year
Why? Overtraining leads to injuries, fatigue, boredom, demotivation
So after youve achieved a goal, reward yourself with a week or two of very easy runs or total rest. In the long run, itll have a positive effect on your fitness.
I resolve to Read my heart rate monitor manual
Why? Heart rate monitors arent just fancy stopwatches. Theyre an incredibly useful and practical training tool. They can help you recover properly during speed sessions, run at the correct pace in a race, illustrate your improved fitness
Find out how by reading the instructions!
I resolve to Volunteer to marshal at a race
Why? Without marshals there would be no races. Stand on the other side of the tape one Sunday morning and youll fully appreciate the job they do.