Happy New Year! Have you made resolutions for 2018? Whether your focus is health, wealth, or happiness, self-improvement is a positive way to start the year. But while nearly half of Americans make these commitments in January, less than 10% of that number actually keep their promises. How can you increase the odds that you’ll keep your resolutions? For answers, we looked to marathoners – a dedicated bunch if there ever was one. If your resolutions include lacing up running shoes and hitting the pavement, you can take this advice literally. For the rest of us, consider the broader lessons in each of these 5 running and marathon-training tips:
The 10% Rule
Running Smarts: Increase your mileage by no more than 10% per week when training for a race. In other words, you don’t simply get up off the couch, step outside, and run 26.2 miles on the first day. You have to work up to running one mile, then five, and so on – it takes time to build endurance.
Resolution Wisdom: Build up to your goals in incremental doses, no matter what they are. If you’re trying to put away more money for retirement, gradually increase withholdings from your paycheck over a course of months, rather than taking a big bite out of your take home from day one. Reducing sugar intake? Chip away at the chief offenders one at a time instead of taking the cold turkey approach. This strategy is not only less painful, but more effective in the long run.
Keep a Training Log
Running Smarts. Write down your daily miles, times, and how you feel. It’s great to look back on your progress when you need a boost, or to have data to analyze when you’re fine-tuning your routine.
Resolution Wisdom. Taking notes on your progress helps you track success and can provide much-needed inspiration on a tough day.
The 10-Minute Rule
Running Smarts: Always warm up and cool down at the beginning and end of a run with 10 minutes of walking or slow running.
Resolution Wisdom: Ease into – and out of – whatever it is you want to do. Trying to write the next great novel? Warm up by making a cup of tea beforehand. If your goal is a better night’s sleep, create a soothing bedtime ritual to help you wind down.
Take a Day Off
Running Smarts: Take 1 or even 2 days a week off to let your body rest and recover.
Resolution Wisdom: Give yourself a break occasionally. If you’re on a weight loss plan, take it easy one day a week so that you can enjoy a favorite dessert in moderation. Or, if spending less is your goal, work a bit of wiggle room into the budget for a modest night out.
The Conversation Rule
Running Smarts: You should be able to talk in complete sentences while running. In general, running shouldn’t be overly strenuous – it’s a surefire way to get injured or burn out. There are exceptions, such as when you’re giving it your all doing intervals or racing.
Resolution Wisdom: It’s great to have goals, but going all-out 24/7 to reach them can lead to unhealthy stress and ultimate failure when you can’t keep up the pace. Slow and steady wins the race, and that applies to everyday goals as much as it does running.
Resources:marathon, Resolutions, self-improvment