Note: This doesn’t just apply to running. These principles can/should be applied in almost any area of life.
So here we are. It’s a brand new year. Time to make some new years resolutions.
Most new years resolutions (88% according to this article), though made with good intentions, tend to fail… and they tend to do so rather quickly. However, if done right, new years resolutions can be the start of something great.
Here’s what, I believe, you need to succeed:
1. A Plan
I’m surprised a how many people make resolutions (things like: ‘eat healthy‘ or ‘start working-out‘) but have no plan to accomplish it. If you’re really going to make a life change, you definitely need a plan to do so.
If your resolution has to do with starting to run, Runners World has a bunch of great (cheap) plans here. A simple Google search will turn-up a bunch of free plans and others that people want to sell you.
But a plan is only a start…
2. A Coach
When you download a plan off the internet, you’re doing so without really having an idea of what kind of training you should be doing. The person who designed the plan didn’t have you, your goals, or your current fitness level in mind. The plan you download also will not be able to monitor your your progress, make changes, or help you along the way. This is why I believe a coach is key.
A coach is able to help you make sure your plan and your goals work together. Your coach can help you along the way too, should you encounter an injury, miss workouts due to other commitments, or change your goals. A coach can also give helpful tips & advice along the way; things you’d not get with just you and a plan.
Depending where you live, there are likely lots of great options for finding a coach. A great place to start your coaching search is by asking-around at your local running shop(s). Here in Northern Virginia, I have a team of coaches through Potomac River Running Training Programs. I know that, without the great coaching I get there, I’d never accomplish my running goals. So, you need a plan, a coach, and also
3. A Team
Professional athletes, even those in individual sports, have a team. They have a group of people who they train with; people who challenge them, encourage them, hold them accountable, and are just there to do the workout with. If pro athletes need this, then I really need this. Thankfully, the training program I’m a part of has group runs and track workouts built-in so I have a great team of people to train with. However, even if you’re nat a part of a program like this, you can find a group to run with (again, asking about group runs at your local running store might be a good place to start).
I honestly believe that if you put all three of these together, you’re new years resolution (for this year, and for years to come) will come well within your reach!
Happy New Year