A New Year’s Resolution is a great way to start running or create a dramatic change to your running lifestyle but carries an extremely low rate of success (some studies have pegged it as only 8% of resolutions being successfully met). So why such a low rate of success, and what can you do about it? Like all goals, the key is to lay out and follow an actionable plan while keeping it simple as possible in order to meet running goals that enforce consistency before tackling greater challenges.
Resolutions for those Beginning/New to Running
Do you want to go for a run or become a runner? Most with only a minimal amount of training could work themselves into struggling through a 5K. However, its far better to embrace the running lifestyle and enjoy all the health benefits that come with it than push your body into discomfort forcing you to leave running all together. This is the ultimate goal of the New Year’s Resolution for Runners…. to become a runner enjoying a lifetime of running versus quitting after meeting a singular goal, such as a 5K.
Beginner runners need to focus on a training program that underlines the goal of consistent running versus running a race, where the race is just a reward for all your efforts. In following our comprehensive guide to start running, you will find that you will train well over the distance necessary to complete a 5K. This is critical to maintaining your New Year’s Resolution since it forces you to get a strong base that takes time, reinforcing the habit of running while setting the stage to make your 5K as easy as possible from an endurance perspective before you can take on larger distances such as a 10K.
The same methodology is true for the 5K training guide, in that the goal is not to complete the race (as the Couch to 5K would set as the goal), but rather to become a runner where the race is a reward/simply a milestone on the way to a long and happy running career. In essence, if you set goals such as running a Marathon as your New Year’s Resolution, the stage is set for failure unless you are already in a great running habit with a strong running base.
Get Running Accountability
For beginner runners, it is especially important to find a running group/support to keep your New Year’s Resolution intact, as this creates accountability. It also makes it easier on the tough days to either run together or “talk” through what happened in a run or race.
In planning for your first race, the aim should be for late March to early April, as this gives you a few months of base running before attempting your first 5K. Again, the critical rationale is to make it as easy as possible from an endurance perspective, acknowledging that the greatest challenge to meeting your resolution will not be race day but all the days leading up to it. For this reason, you need a constant reminder of your goal, so sign up for the race on January 1st and mark your calendar.
If, for some reason, you have a running setback or can’t make the race, don’t worry! There will likely be another race the next weekend, and since you are more in the mindset of a “runner” versus “going for a run,” you will find it easier to adjust to missing a race.