Running Resolutions You Can Keep

Pick three or four of these changes, stick to them, and watch the difference!

Posted: 21 December 2002

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
Why? They smell, but more importantly they’re 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. You’ll feel great all day, and you’ll 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 aren’t biodegradable, so don’t 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. It’s 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 RUNNER’S 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 don’t 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 we’re at the sharp end or bringing up the rear, we’re 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 shouldn’t. But too much fat, or salt, or sugar still isn’t 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… it’ll 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 don’t 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 you’ll 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. You’ll 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 you’ve achieved a goal, reward yourself with a week or two of very easy runs or total rest. In the long run, it’ll have a positive effect on your fitness.

I resolve to Read my heart rate monitor manual
Why? Heart rate monitors aren’t just fancy stopwatches. They’re 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 you’ll fully appreciate the job they do.

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motivation, wisdom

Discuss this article

A few weeks ago many of us posted our goals for the next year or so.

What we didn't do was state how we expect to achieve them.

It never ceases to amaze me the number of people, from all walks of life, who keep on doing things the same way, day in day out and expect to get different and better results.

One of my favorite quotes is Freud's definition of insanity: "Doing the
same thing over and over again but expecting a different outcome."

So, what changes, if any, are you going to make to help you to achieve your goals?

You may have to do some serious thinking before you answer this one!
Posted: 19/09/2002 at 13:15

I've achieved one of my two goals this year.

I'm sure the reason for my improved form was because I stepped up a training group on club nights. The 'B' group run too fast for the pace I was doing at the beginning of summer. I had a word with the guy who leads the B's and suggested that I join them for four weeks (8 sessions) during which I was bound to slow the group down. After four weeks the plan was to either stick with the Bs if I'd improved to the extent that I didn't slow them down or return to the Cs if not. To cut a long story short I did improve, am now comfortable with B group training pace and have been rewarded with PBs at 5K, 10K, 10M and half marathon
Posted: 19/09/2002 at 13:24

I'm still achieving minor gains (PBs' in the last half, 10m and 10k) so am not at the point of having to change things yet. I find it difficult with family commitments to spend much more time so it would be fine tuning, ie alternative exercise, diet etc and to be honest I'm not that motivated at this moment in time.

Also just to disagree with your analogy, the same things may start off the same each day but it only takes a flag of a butterflys wings to turn out completely different.

On a slightly differnt tack are you sorted for Windsor accomodation. Also as a valued, respected member of these forums could I have you view on the URWFRC kit thread to convince me that I'm not completly wasting my time
Posted: 19/09/2002 at 13:25

Have only just picked up running again after several months injury/idleness.

That's my main change.

Also hoping to join a club (so that laziness doesn't rob me of another year running), so there's another.

PS - please tell me I'm wrong and it really is Friday today.
Posted: 19/09/2002 at 13:27

to acheive my goals pretty much all i have to do is keep going - keep running and keep watching what i eat - and i'll acheive them. easy really when you think about it but much more difficult in practice!
Posted: 19/09/2002 at 13:28

I wrote that my goal was to keep running three times a week over the winter. The way I plan to achieve this is by running during daylight! I currently run in the early evening, but this will get switched to late morning once the days are shorter. Also, if I can find a half marathon that suits me, the need to train will certainly keep me going.
Posted: 19/09/2002 at 13:41

I want to break my PBs for 10 miles and 1/2M this coming year. I've started doing more training on my own as the guys in the squad don't seem to have a coherent training schedule that fits in with mine.
Next try at a PB will be at Waterbeach 1/2m on 20th Oct.

Posted: 19/09/2002 at 13:42

The GNR marks the end of the season for me and I’ll take it easy for a couple of weeks before starting on a more structured training programme aimed at producing 2 peeks per year (early Spring & late Summer)

The program will be based on BASE, BUILD, PEEK, RACE, and RECOVER

My plan has been tailored to allow me to combine Marathon training along with Olympic / Middle distance TRI training and I intend concentrating on road races of 10-mile or more and approximately 6 TRIs next year – although I will not be totally ignoring 10k and hard speed sessions.

On top of this I intend incorporating 2 x gym sessions to help improve strength and core stability

And this is how I aim to achieve my goals


I like it when Fridays come early

Posted: 19/09/2002 at 13:44


I think I'm still at the level where the main thing that is changing is my attitude towards running. I'm gradually becoming both more serious and more sensible, at the same time.

I'm trying to follow Zatopek: "one can only increase the effort step by step, and you must always keep within the bounds of what is possible".

It's OK to dream the impossible dream, but you won't get nowhere without a realistic plan of action!

Posted: 19/09/2002 at 14:20

my changes are very simple really because I am only a beginner

- simply to get out there and get going with the run/walks so that I can eventually run for half an hour without stopping

- to lose weight by eating healthily ( ie leaving out the chocolate, crisps etc) and getting out and exercising at least 3 times a week

- to find somewhere where I feel safe running early morning/evening during winter (hate gyms and treadmills!)

- to try not to let the fact that I am a tubby person who wobbles rather when she runs, stop me from getting out and running!

By doing all these things I hope to complete a 5k in Dec/Jan, a 10K late spring and the Windsor half next Sep!
Posted: 19/09/2002 at 14:51

I know I can be a much better runner, and a much fitter person, by making my training more consistent, all year round.

I've already made some changes to my life which will make this possible - a new job means an hour a day less travelling and I have reduced out-of-work committments too.

PBs all next year!
Posted: 19/09/2002 at 15:04

I wouldn't say I have definitive specific plans, life in general doesn't work like that (work keeps getting in the way!). However, the following is a general guide as to how I think I will keep moving towards my goal.

1. Immediate post marathon plan is to rest and cure recurrent knee problem - I currently have it under control but need a full solution.
2. CUT my mileage. Last few weeks have been nudging 50 per week. I will not train for another marathon in the short term so will cut my mileage to 35-40 over the winter with a max long run of 90 minutes, but will up the focus on speed.
3. I know from my last experience with running that real improvements can be expected for 2-3 years just by more of the same so consistency is a key aspect. With this comes weight loss - already since starting running again in January I've lost about 7 kilo's (no change in diet) and think I will lose probably another 3-4 over the next year.
4. Buy a new treadmill. I currently have a treadmill but with a maximum speed of 16 kmh. For the winter I want want with a max of 18-20 kmh so I can build speed over the winter. MrsH has been advised!
5. In the spring. Join a club - I've identified the most likely club and now just need to find the time to get along to my first session.
6. Build strength. Part of my running next year will be hill running (of the uphill variety), initially I'll be working towards a 10k in early spring (600 metre climb) but may decide to run a more serious hill race in the summer.

Oh yes, spend less time on the forums and more time training!
Posted: 19/09/2002 at 15:06

Hi Martin,
Are you going to try to reach a particular standard before you join your local club?
Do you feel that you should be running at a pace that would allow you to,as it were,'fit in'?
I am interested from my own point of view as I am also considering taking this step.
Posted: 19/09/2002 at 15:42


I identified the club from looking round my area and at the results from a local race - in a recent half marathon (in which I came in 66 place {out of 500}) - they had 10 runners in the top 50 but also a number behind me. I'm looking to join a club which will push me.

Having said that I would always ring a club beforehand to find out what standard the groups are and how far they run on a typical club night. Most clubs will have a range of experiences.

I was in a club before I left the UK (I now live in Germany) and trust me if you want to improve your running its the best thing you can do!

Good luck
Posted: 19/09/2002 at 15:52


I agree with what you are saying.I think that club training should bring a more competitive element to my training,thus bringing about improvement(hopefully).

This may also allow me to set realistic targets over the medium to long term.

However,how would you respond if you find the club's/coaching philosophy differs drastically from your own e.g emphasis on high milage rather than quality etc?
Posted: 19/09/2002 at 16:12


Its an interesting one Danny and I'm not sure what the answer is - it largely depends on what you want to achieve with the club so I can only relate my personal experience - Other may have other stories so maybe you might even consider a new thread under training.

Anyway, the main reason I joined a club (and will look to join again) is to do long tempo or race pace sessions as these are (I find) the hardest to do alone in training. For example, I never have any problems doing shorter intervals but with the club there was a group that would typically run 8-10 miles midweek at around 6:30 pace (my race pace in those days was around 6:00 min pace for 10k) I found these sessions fantastic for building speed stamina.

I should add that there were similar groups doing this run and much shorter runs a lot slower so don't be scared off!

You will find that there are many different types of club - some with a "jogging" background and some with a more formal athletics base and in your case I would aim to join a club that seems to offer the best balance (i.e. some people join because they want company in long runs) also most clubs will typically run two sessions, a mid week session based on interval/tempo running and usually Sunday for longer runs.

I should also add that joining a club will also offer you chance to compete in local cross country races, summer league races and relay races.

For what is essentially a lone sport however, adjusting to running with other can take a while so when you do go to a club give yourself a couple of weeks to settle in - I did this by fibbing about my pace initially so that I ran with a slower group!
Posted: 19/09/2002 at 16:39

I live Just outside Bath,
Can anyone recommend a good running club that I could join?
Posted: 30/07/2003 at 16:27

My goals for 2003 have been twofold: one, to build up to being able to comfortably and consistently run for a minimum of 20 miles per week and to build up from that, and secondly to enter more races.

I'm currently running between 20 and 25 miles a week consistently, and so far this year I've entered 4 races - 5K, 2 x 10K and half marathon (as opposed to one race last year). I may even get a few more in before the end of the year.

I recognise the fact that I'm still relatively new to running (only just over a year) and so far I've managed to avoid injury by not trying to do too much too soon. My next goal will be to hone my training so I get faster, and to run a marathon next year (hopefully FLM).

The one thing that has really helped me in achieving this year's goals has been monitoring my training and progress by way of a running log - v. v. useful.

Posted: 30/07/2003 at 16:45

Number one goal for me is always to stay injury free. So far so good- being a tad on the lazy side I am more than happy to back off if I get a niggle.

Have achieved five of my goals and failed on one (sub 3 at London) but I did get on the front line start photo so it was worth it!

I have still to win a triathlon, do a sub 30 5 miles and a sub 18 5k and improve on last years race the train time.

I need to find a triathlon with an incredibly small field and a couple of races of 5k and 5 miles that don't have a swim and a bike ride preceeding them and bobs your uncle! Race the train is not far off and I haven't been whacking any long runs in so will be relying on residual fitness and a bloody minded approach, we shall see.
Posted: 30/07/2003 at 21:06

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