So the New Year is around the corner, and for many, its time to think of how to be a better person in 2014 than in 2013. You know, New Year, New You and all that.
Fitness-related resolutions amongst the masses are typically short-lived (just look at your local gym on January 2nd vs. February 2nd), but as runners, we can do better. So we put together five small suggestions on what we think will make a positive impact on your running, your enjoyment of running, and/or your hardcore score over this next year.
Duh, right? But this doesn’t necessarily mean running more miles. Instead, try running more consistently, splitting up your mileage over more outings. Less rest days and maybe even more double days will be key here. If done right, your body will learn to recover faster and you will feel a bit fresher on your runs.
Hit the trails
Tend to stick to the roads? Make it a point to venture out onto the trails more in 2014. Trails offer an opportunity to truly get away from our normal environment and escape the stresses of daily life. The softer surface is less taxing on your body, too. Though not absolutely necessary, a good pair of trail shoes could bring you a more enjoyable experience off the beaten path.
Sign up for that race that’s been catching your eye
Is there a race that you’ve been eyeing but for some reason you just haven’t been able to convince yourself to do it? A distance you’ve never run before? Maybe it’s too hilly? Make it happen in 2014. Remember: all it takes to commit is just signing up. You can always find motivation later.
Don’t be afraid of long runs or speedwork
For some reason, many runners tend to shy away from their standard run. If this sounds like you, make 2014 the year you step out of your comfort zone. Hit up your local track for some intervals. Plan out some water stops for that 90-minute run. Your running will thank you.
Don’t let weather get the best of you
It’s too easy to see the rain or snow and scrap the day’s run in favor of a little TV time. In 2014, don’t let the conditions tell you what to do. Run in the face of the weather, not away from it. Cold or wet weather gear will pay huge dividends here, though it isn’t crucial. But seriously, though, be prepared and you will be much happier.