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Most of us have probably notoriously made resolutions for the year and fallen off the wagon by the end of January.
In fact, I have read that many people fail by January 5th!
Do you have a plan to implement and achieve your running goals in 2011?
Here are two very powerful factors that have helped me make time for exercise, lose weight, and run marathons.
These factors are so simple you might be tempted to overlook them, but you must have both working for you to be a successful marathoner.
Your mind is your best friend when it comes to achieving goals. You have to believe that you CAN do amazing new things. The mind is very powerful and can either be a tool to help or hinder us. I believe that running is at least 50% mental. Chances are that your body can go the distance, if your mind doesn’t talk you out of it.
One of the “secrets” of successful athletes, business people, and politicians is that they have confidence. You have to eliminate the negative self talk that goes through your mind frequently and replace it with positive truth. Get rid of “I can’t” from your vocabulary. Surround yourself with positive, encouraging people as much as possible.
In order for true change to happen you have to persistently introduce into your weekly routine the new desired behavior. The key is persistence. Keep making yourself do the right thing until it becomes a habit. Once you have formed a new habit you have succeeded in changing your life.
Never underestimate the power of habits. We live by habits. Every day you slip into your car, put the key in the ignition, back out of the driveway, shift into drive, and zoom down the road without much effort. But do you remember how awkward it felt when you were just learning how to drive? Your mind and body can be trained to do things habitually, so why not allow running to become a habit. Research has shown that it takes only about three or four weeks for an activity to become a habit.
Help with Your Running Goals
Do you want to totally rock in 2011? First you need to evaluate where you are on your running journey. Next, start taking action. If you are a beginner, intermediate, or veteran here are some recommendations for you:
- Beginners: Welcome to the wonderful world of running! You are starting on an amazing journey that will take you places you’ve only dreamed of. It will force you to push yourself past your limits and in the process will teach you more about your character. Train to run a 5k this Spring. Check out our beginner page for some options.
- Intermediate: You’ve been running for a few months to a few years. Maybe you’ve conquered the 5k or 10k and are looking for new challenges. Maybe you’re returning to running from a hiatus. Make sure you have a solid running base built up and then consider training for a half or full marathon. There is no time like the present to make your marathon dream a reality. A marathon won’t just happen to you. Download one of our free training plans and get started today.
- Veteran: You’ve been running for years. Maybe you’ve tackled a variety of distances and completed a couple of marathons. You appreciate running, but maybe your routine has gotten a little stale. This may be the year to take on a new challenge. Train for an ultra or triathlon this year or start trail running. Work on setting a PR in multiple distances, consider joining the 50 State Club or becoming a Marathon Maniac, or run every day of the year. The options can be as individual as you are. Don’t sentence yourself to a ho-hum year, make it memorable!
Other Ideas to Increase Your Fitness in 2011
- Increase your flexibility by stretching regularly
- Incorporate regular cross training into your running schedule
- Do 50 pushups
- Inspire a family member or friend to become a runner
- Fall in love with a new sport or exercise (like yoga!)
- Learn to run barefoot or with minimalistic running shoes
I believe that when you set realistic goals and implement a plan to achieve them, you’ll get the satisfaction of seeing them become reality. Take your running to the next level and make this year amazing.
Also Mentioned in This Episode
RunKeeper alows you to track your miles and watch your progress. You can upload Garmin runs to their web site. Download the app FREE until February.
The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick) by Seth Godin
I’d love to hear about your goals in this New Year. Leave a comment on our blog, post your goals on our Facebook page, or send me an email.
Happy running in the New Year!