Have you made any running related New Year’s resolutions for this year, or are you one of those types that doesn’t believe in resolutions? The way I look at it, resolutions are just goals for the year. When it comes to running setting goals is major part of improving. Below are some pointers on setting running goals (resolutions).
To help explain my tips I will use one of my running resolutions for 2009 as an example. My resolution is to run sub 4:00 for the 1500 and sub 16:00 for the 5000 (either on the track or in a certified road race).
Tip #1: Make your resolutions measurable. Some common resolutions might be to run faster or further or to loose weight. While these are great goals, they are very ambiguous. This makes it much harder to stay focused on your goal. Instead you should say specifically how much faster or farther you want to run or how much weight you want to loose. Before I picked my resolution for this year I had already decided I wanted focus on developing my speed in 2009. So then by picking goals that will require me to improve my speed I now have a specific goal that I can measure my progress towards.
Tip #2: Put your resolution in writing. By putting your resolution in writing you make it a bit more official than if remains just a thought in your head and you will be more likely to stick to it. Ideally you would right your resolution someplace like in the front of your training log where you will see it everyday as a reminder of what you are working towards. I actually prefer to take it a step further and let other people know what my resolutions are. This puts a bit more pressure on me to stick to the resolution. For some people this might add a bit too much pressure. Also, I never know who might have a suggestion that could really help me achieve my goals. So by talking about them with people I have more chances to get some help.
Tip #3: Make your resolution realistic. This is probably the most important of the three tips. If you make your resolution so outrageous that there is absolutely no way you will ever achieve it you will loose your motivation very quickly. Of course the flip side of this is also a problem. If you make your resolution so easy that it doesn’t require any effort on your part to achieve it you won’t have gained anything. For me a sub 4:00 1500 and sub 16:00 5000 is a very ambitious goal. In fact, I this will now be the third year I have made this resolution (this will be my year to reach my goal, I can feel it). Even though I didn’t actually achieve these times the past two years I have made them my resolution I still honestly believe that I am capable of running those times so I have never lost my motivation to work towards them.
Hopefully you find these tips at least a little bit helpful. When you have something specific that you are shooting for it makes your running much more enjoyable and meaningful, plus it is much easier to motivate yourself to get out and train. If you are like me and like to let other people know what your resolutions are please leave me a comment stating your goals. I wish you all the best of luck in reaching your running goals for 2009.