Greetings from Pasadena, Ca and welcome to 2012. The beginning of a new year always has so much hope and promise in the air. The clock is running and 2012 has begun. Ideally there is plenty of time to conquer everything you choose to accomplish this year but the time is now and its time to get going.
With Marathon season coming around the corner many of you are preparing for your races starting in February and into the summer and fall. For some of you this start to the new year has you ready to finally take that first step into running and try to get back in shape and make a lifestyle change. Whether you are a seasoned runner or starting out for that illustrious back in shape goal here are a few pointers to keep in mind to get you going in the right step for 2012.
1. Create a plan and goal. Having an organized training plan and goal will help you stay more organized and consistent with your goals. Sitting down and taking the time to organize your training around work, family and social schedules will leave you more successful in your accomplishments. If you are a beginner, set short-term goals on a weekly basis. This will help you get into the swing of things.
2. Get some rest. Getting in 7-8 hours of sleep each night will help you not only in performance but also in recovery. I think a lot of runners underestimate the importance sleep will have on your day-to-day performance. This is especially important to beginner runners. Your body will be exposed to a new stress on joints and muscles and adequate rest will help your recovery and keep you fresh and in the process keep you motivated to keep up the habit of training and running.
3. Nutrition is everything. Like rest, nutrition will affect your day-to-day runs and aid in your recovery. I think too many runners take this part for granted too often. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and will set the tone for the day. Too may times I often hear runners say they don’t eat before a run. Try and think of your body as a car. If you are taking your car on a trip you must make sure it has fuel. Your body is the same way. Sure you may be able to knock out a 10 miler without eating but in the long run you are tearing down your body instead of building it up. Once you start to eat properly you will see the differences in your training and performance.
4. Make this the year for safe running. Make it a personal goal that each run you will try to be as safe as possible. If you prefer the street like I do, run against traffic so you are aware. Never run with your back to traffic. If you run early in the morning or late at night when it is still dark out wear some kind of reflective clothing to protect yourself. And whatever you do, always give the car the right away. Never assume they will yield to you. Be safe out there.
5. Last but not least. Mix it up out there. Change your running routes around. It is a new year, so start new and make it different and interesting. If you are a beginner runner this may be very useful so you keep things fresh out there and are less susceptible to getting bored.
Every day of the new year will present opportunity and the start to a new road of possibilities. Possibly all the limitations you had in 2011 are now last year’s limitations and now 2012 will give you the chance to move push past those limitations and reinvent yourself to create a great year and a great you.
Running is never about how fast or slow you ran today, it is not about how fast or slow you can finish a marathon. Running is about the journey. Chances are you will never remember how fast or how slow you ran a race a year from now or how fast or slow you ran a run 4 months ago, but you will always remember the journey of those days and how they made an impact on you and your outlook on life. Life is a journey as well. Live in the moment and enjoy each step of the way to your new goals for 2012. The year is waiting for you to make it a masterpiece. Go get it done!