5 Ways to Set a Running Resolution that Sticks

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5 Ways to Set a Running Resolution that Sticks

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Now that the holiday parties are in full swing and that New Year’s ball is just days from dropping, we wanted to dig into the topic that’s likely on everyone’s mind–resolutions! Check out our tips below for setting the running resolution that’s right for you!

Be Realistic

If you don’t run at all now, chances are you won’t be running a marathon come March. Thinking you will is really just putting yourself on the fast track to injury or burnout. The best thing about being a runner is that you don’t have to hit a certain number of qualifications to join the club. One mile, 5ks, or marathons–no matter the distance you’re still getting out there and getting some exercise! So before you even put a running resolution in writing, think about your current state and skill level and set a solid goal. It could be a new race distance, improving your pace by a modest amount, or even committing to cross training at least once per week!

Use the Numbers

An informed decision is a good decision, right? You can use your RunKeeper history to really put some numbers behind the resolution you set. Look back over this past year and see what your activity levels look like. Maybe you want to increase your total mileage by 10%. Or maybe you ran a decent amount of mileage last year but did it a little inconsistently. Your running resolution could be something as simple as “run three times per week.” It’s also important that the time frame is realistic and gives you room for missteps. It would be awesome to say you ran every day in 2014, but if you miss that target early in the year, then that throws your motivation off track for the remaining months! Whatever the case, pick something that is challenging but realistic–not so far off that you’ll end up getting discouraged before Valentine’s Day hits.

Consider Your Fuel

What you eat throughout the day plays a big part in how your running goes. Something with too much fiber or fat could really cut a long run short, as could heading out on an empty stomach. Staying motivated to run is hard enough without your food choices throwing you off track, so keep tabs on what you’re eating throughout the week and plan your meals so that they help and don’t hurt your run. Three to four hours before your run, have a meal with carbs and small amounts of protein. Follow that up with a carbohydrate-rich snack 30-60 minutes prior to tying on your running shoes and heading out the door. For carbs, think about a slice of whole grain bread with jam or fruit. Some great fueling proteins include nuts, eggs, yogurt and smoothies. To easily track your fuel alongside your running, be sure to connect MyFitnessPal with RunKeeper!

Get Friends in on It

If a tree falls in the forest and no one’s there to hear it, then…? Same goes with a resolution that no one knows about! Once you set your running resolution, tell your friends and family about it! That way you’re accountable to the decisions you’re making throughout the year. If you’re tempted to skip a run or give up altogether, they can encourage to keep on going. Better yet, invite them out ahead of time for a run–that way you’ll be less likely to sleep in or skip if the conditions are less than perfect (Hint: there’s no such thing as perfect conditions!)

Start Now

No matter what your running resolution is, chances are it will require some level of sacrifice. You’ll have to wake up early, skip your lunch break, get home from work later, or even miss out on the occasional social event to have the time to get that run in. You may think you’ll find more time and motivation once the weather gets better and the days get longer, but that could be wishful thinking. Instead start at the beginning of the year. If you’ve been able to push through less than ideal winter weather and stay consistent, then running in the spring will feel like a joy! Oh, and did we mention that RunKeeper users who worked out in January were three times as active as those runners who didn’t get a workout in at the beginning of the year? So yeah, there’s some science behind that one.

Remember, a resolution is supposed to be something that inspires, pushes, and betters you. We hope these tips help make 2014 an awesome running year for you!

About the Author

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MyFitnessPal

MyFitnessPal provides powerful tools that make it easier for anyone to live a healthier life by tracking their meals and physical activity. Make healthy choices and join Under Armour Connected Fitness™, the world’s largest digital fitness community: Visit the MyFitnessPal blog and download UA Record, MapMyRun, MyFitnessPal and Endomondo.

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14 responses to “5 Ways to Set a Running Resolution that Sticks”

  1. Ratika says:

    Really helpful article. I have started running from today and my goal is to run for 4 times a week and do interval training as well.

  2. Kae says:

    As much as I hate running I’m going to give it all I got!

  3. Christina says:

    I hated running, but this past year I’ve tried to start slow! My fiance is in the army, so part of his job is being fit. Even if I can do every Pilates move known to man, I still want to run with him! So my resolution is to run 2 miles straight (that’s the army physical fitness test). Thank you for this article!! I’m going to use Runkeeper to make customized workouts to help me reach my goal!

  4. Juanita says:

    Well I am starting. Don’t know if I will like running but I have to give it a shot. I have been doing 5ks in the past and this year decided to try a 10k with some running/jogging in it. This was a great article.

  5. Rockingwhatigot says:

    I’m going to give running a shot. I dislike running. However, running is the one true exercise that helps melt away the pounds (at least for me). My goal is to run twice a week along with doing one of my Beachbody programs 5 days a week.

  6. Anna says:

    I’m really young. I hate running BUT!! I’ll make an effort. With all the homework i’m getting I’m sure i’ll have a time to fit in running.

  7. Joy says:

    Is it necessary to stretch before you run? Or to use the treadmill if you can’t run outdoor? Someone told me its not necessary to stretch just warm up run in the treadmill. Is this true?

    • Tiffany says:

      This is true. Stretching before you run can actually result in injury. Many people do a light jog before they start their run, others use the first mile as a warm up. It’s not even really necessary to stretch afterward, but if you must stretch it’s recommended to after your run.

    • Jason Sas says:

      No need to stretch before you run, just warm-up with a 5 minute walk to get your muscles ready. Don’t forget to end with a cool down walk too!

  8. ssbobbyh says:

    I love cardio, but hate running. I think this article can apply to most forms of progressive cardio training though…going to try and use some of the advice on my elliptical, stationary bike, and stride training.

  9. Turtle Mom says:

    I will be 49 on 12-31 and have ALWAYS hated running. For whatever reason after I lost my Father this past July, I started to run or rather trot. It’s not pretty and it’s hard as hell, but beginning to really enjoy it. I read every article that I can to educate myself on technique and I’ve cut down on my time by 3 mins since September. I have incorporated strength training as well. My nick-name is turtle mom and I encourage anybody who wants to run to just get out there, the best way to start is the walk/trot/slow jog and build from there. It’s a great way to clear your head, get that over all body workout and the best part, it doesn’t cost a thing!! Happy running.

  10. Jason Sas says:

    I’ve been using the RunKeeper/MyFitnessPal combo for a couple of months and it has really helped me stay on track with my running! I am currently on the longest stretch of running I have ever done and being able to see the progress in my runs and the weight I am losing is a big motivator for me.

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