The new year has arrived and with it the potential for great things. Your mind is running away with the possibilities. You are going to lose weight. You are going to pay off your debt and start saving for the future. This is the year you will finally learn to speak Mullukmulluk fluently. This year will definitely, definitely be the year that you kick that nasty habit you have held onto for so long.
To be completely honest I cannot really help you with any of that (but if you do learn to speak Mullukmulluk please email me and let me know!). However, one goal I can help you with that many people set out with in the new year is to start running. As a long-time runner myself, I have found myself starting years in fantastic shape, and other years starting in terrible shape. But each new year is a chance to begin fresh or begin anew. So below I am going to share with you some tips on starting you off on the right foot…or left…whichever one which you are partial to.
5 Tips for Running in the New Year
Buy New Running Shoes (Trainers)
Nothing gets me more excited to run than a new pair of running shoes…and with running, it is all about the shoes. It is important to have shoes that fit properly and provide you with the right amount of support for the type of runner you are (or will become) and your body type. Be sure to visit a running store to be properly evaluated and fitted. Feel free to splurge a little and get a pair of shoes that only provides the mechanical support you need but shows off your personality as well.
Find a Running Partner
Running is a great solo activity. It allows you to get lost in your own thoughts and spend some quality you time. However, making yourself accountable to someone else will help you get up and get out the door on even the days you do not want to run. Whether it is a friend, family member, coworker, or even your dog, finding a running partner will help keep running interesting and make it a long-term and healthy habit.
Start Small and Start Slow
We have a tendency (at least I do) to want to conquer the world when we set out for a run. We want to run far…we want to run fast…we want something to brag about. As I have learned time and time again, however, running is something you need to ease into. Even if you used to run or never stopped, the start of the year is a great time to scale down mileage and scale down speed. It gives your body a chance to recover and rebuild, making you even strong as spring rolls around. As a beginner, starting small and slow will allow your body to adjust to the change in its routine and hopefully prevent any injuries that taking on too much at once can bring.
Make Running Fun
Let’s be honest: all the health benefits in the world will not keep you motivated to do something unless you are also having fun. Try setting challenges for yourself or compete against friends. Seek out new routes and alternate your running surfaces. Set goals and reward yourself for reaching them…whether it is a full mile without walking or running a 5K in a certain time. Use running apps like Zombies, Run! to keep you on your toes. Listen to your favorite music, a new audio book, or some awesome running podcasts. Whatever gets you motivated, find some way to incorporate it into your run.
Get Your Family Running
Nothing makes me more proud than when my son wants to go on a run with me. Sure, he is just going along for the ride on the jogging stroller, but I know that it is instilling him with a sense that running is important and valuable in life. So on your next run, see if your spouse or kids will join you. If they do not seem interested in actually running, see if they will come cheer you on or be your support team on your next race. The more involved your family becomes, the more likely you are to stick with it throughout the year.
So, my friends, I say good luck! If you need any more tips or motivation, be sure to reach out to me on Twitter (@TheRunnerDad)!