Of course every year runners make goals. These goals usually revolve around new PR’s. We yearn to see our hard work pay off with faster times and more skillful races. But improvements in times are not the only resolution you can make for the New Year. Consider these:
- Meet new running friends. For many other sports you must coordinate with a team or a league, and it can be hard to schedule. Not so with running! You can get out there whenever you want. But the added scheduling complication of meeting and running with others is well worth it. Joining a community of runners can help motivate and keep you consistent. You can also share war stories and learn from seasoned veterans. Even joining a group just once a week or month will create a bond that the isolating sport of running can lack.
- Travel for a race. Here in the Seattle we have so many race options! We could race every month or even every week. It is great to race in familiar surroundings and it is nice to return to the same race year after year, but consider traveling for a race. You can enjoy new sights, new people and a different weather environment. It makes a race so much more special and memorable. And by traveling with friends or family it makes everyone feel involved in your sport.
- Try a new distance. We all have a preferred distance, where we feel comfortable. But trying a new distance can really enhance your training. By adding longer runs to your 5K training you build your endurance. And by practicing your 5K pace when you normally run half marathons helps your body adapt to a faster pace. Bonus—a brand new race distance means your first race is also inevitably a PR!
- Volunteer at a race. Races take numerous volunteers to operate. How many races have you ran versus how many have you volunteered? As a runner you know how vital the support is, and how an encouraging word can help so much. It is a great way to give back to our Seattle running community.
- Injury prevention instead of injury rehabilitation. Create new habits that help you avoid getting hurt. There are numerous things to try and they only need to add a few minutes to your routine. Things like muscle rolling, a super slow warm up, or strength training are wise additions. Most importantly, rest at the first sign of injury-- so as not to exacerbate and prolong your injury. These practices can keep us running all year long so we can meet those inevitable time goals!