As runners, many of us are no stranger to dreaming big and setting goals. But this time of year, many of us are coming out of an off-season reset or have a bit of a holiday hangover and a few extra pounds. Or, maybe you are a new runner and are just trying to figure out how to get started in 2014. Whatever your situation, I feel confident that we could all use some motivation to get us on our path for a successful and fun running season.
Here are some tips to help us make 2014 our best training and racing year ever!
1. Set Some Goals. This one sounds like a no-brainer, but it can be harder than you think if you want to be successful. Perhaps you have no idea where to start. You just started running (or are hoping to), but have no idea what’s ahead.
Or on the other end of the spectrum, maybe you already have a big, hairy, audacious goal. You know what I am talking about. Maybe you are a hoping to run a 20 minute 5k even though you just started and are at 25 minutes. Maybe you are a seasoned marathoner who wants to shave 20 minutes off your finishing time to BQ. Those are awesome goals and I encourage you to set them – whatever they may be for you.
But what I am talking about today is setting goals for 2014. Your upcoming goal should be something that scares you a bit, and you will know you will have to work hard for it. But also something within reach. This is true whether it is a stepping stone to something bigger or whether it is part of getting off the couch in the first place.
✰ For more Salty posts about Goals go here.✰
2. Put a realistic plan in place. Our goals aren’t going to meet themselves. Pen a training program and post it on your fridge or store it in your phone. Plan to religiously mark off your completed workouts each day. Whatever you do, do something to make sure you will put in the work you need to.
✰ For more posts about Training Plans go here.✰
3. Tell everyone. Announce it to your friends and family. Own it. Closet goals are rarely met because you don’t feel as accountable. Even worse, your family may resent you because you didn’t give them the heads-up on how your training may impact them and you overstep your bounds. Communicate well with your family so they are on your team. Then enlist your friends and fellow runners to be your cheerleaders and sole mates.
4. Repeatedly proceed to remind yourself that you’ve got this. If you say it enough, you’ll believe in your goal and will become invested in it. Your family and friends will believe in you and invest in you as well. It really is that simple.
✰ For more posts about Affirmations go here.✰
5. Don’t be afraid of saying your goals out loud even if you may fail. Yup, you might tank. So what?! At least you worked hard for it and put yourself out there. Even if you fall short, you’ll have worked hard and inspired others along the way, I guarantee it. And as we all know, there is always next season. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and not every race is a success. But the process is successful if you work hard, believe in yourself, and take a shot on race day.
✰For more posts about Confidence go here. ✰
6. Freshen up your running routine. This is another step you should not underestimate. We can quickly fall into our routines and get bored. Sometimes we need to freshen things up to keep them exciting. Now is the perfect time for a refresher!
I just updated my treadmill music playlist and it was totally the shot in the arm I needed this week. Sure, we all know some great “running songs” but if you’ve listened to them a million times, the magic definitely fades. I have found that even new songs that aren’t super uptempo can be great for keeping me going on the ‘mill as I am listening to the new lyrics, etc. and the time flies by. Of course those uptempo ones are fabulous too as I find myself upping the speed on the ‘mill when I’d otherwise be watching the seconds tick by painfully.
Another tip (if the budget allows it) is to get some new gear. Hopefully Santa brought you something awesome. If not, splurge on that extra awesome pair of running tights, jacket or hat if you can afford it. I don’t know what it is, but good gear always makes me feel like a better runner.
Finally, look up some inspirational quotes, print them out and post them all around. I recall as I was training for my first marathon, I had the following quote taped near my treadmill, “The miracle isn’t that I finished. It is that I had the courage to start” – John Bingham. That quote got me through many a run and I still hold it with me today. Another I recently shared with some of my Girls on the Run girls is:
“Some people try and they succeed. Others try and short they fall. I tip my hat to both groups, because most people never try at all.”
✰ For more posts about Motivation go here. ✰
7. Enlist your friends to train with you. It is hard to run in the cold and dark. It is hard to run on the treadmill. But these are necessary evils for many of us if we are going to start smashing our goals in 2014. Talk to your friends, encourage them to set goals, and agree to keep each other accountable. Even better, run together if possible. Not only will you feel supported and accountable (it is easy for us to hit snooze when we know our good friend isn’t waiting for us on the corner or going to ask us about how our run went!).
✰ For more posts about Running Friends go here. ✰
8. Get up and get out there. Ah that snooze button is easy to push. And it is so easy to cut the run short when you are tired. Resist. You are stronger than that. Instead of cutting it short, choose to add an extra interval or mile.
2014 is yours, baby.
What are your goals for 2014? What do you do to keep motivated?