Running Season

Running Short: Preparing for a running season

The new year is upon us and there are always new plans, resolutions, dreams, ideas, and goals. Here are a few things to consider given the new year or if you are soon getting ready to plan a new running season. A 3-point approach to get your wellness vision off to a good start for the coming year/season:

Step 1: Think about not only the upcoming events but your long-term vision/identity. Commit and write it down, describe it the best you can.

  • What you would like to do for your physical, eating habits or/and mental health in the new year or season.
  • Write the list in present time, like you already become the change you want.
  • Your goals/vision could include multiple areas, it might include exercise, nutrition, sleep habits, mental health practices, mindfulness, and more
  • As a healthy individual, I am going to workout 15 minutes three times a week
  • As a mindful person, I am meditating 3 times a week
  • As a runner I will run 35-45 miles a week
  • As a healthy individual I am always choosing healthy items for my diet

As you start to figure it out and write down your vision, reflect on your past, previous goals from last year/season. Figure out what worked well and what did not. What were the accelerators and the impediments that hold you back? Keep an open mind about what was or wasn’t realistic and check on those challenges that prevented you last time in achieving your goals.

We are all human and we are not perfect. Things will go well and others will not work out as planned. Be compassionate with yourself. Congratulate yourself for all the accomplishments from the past and how far you have come, but be aware that there is still a long road ahead of you and sometimes it is a bumpy one.

Step 2: Now we are ready to move that vision into action plans and set those goals and prepare the plan of attack. There is a great approach when setting the plan in place, people have used it for business, coaching, and other areas of personal improvement. The S.M.A.R.T. approach. Take the time to reflect and for each element find items/tasks/activities that are S.M.A.R.T.

  • S– Specific
  • M– Measurable
  • A – Action Based
  • R– Realistic
  • T– Time Based

Think about the goals for the next 3-6 months that will support your vision develop that initial list of items that will help you accomplish that vision.

  • Every day in the morning I am going to meditate for 10 minutes
  • I am going to complete the 30 day squat challenge
  • Increase the weekly mileage by 5-10% every other week
  • I will not skip my workout more than 2 days in a row

Once you have written down the list that will support your vision, step back, and for each item, you need to see it clear how acting on the different items will support in getting you closer to your vision. If it is not clear or it feels weak, think about what would you add/change or what areas need to be more specific.

Step 3: Declare and share your vision and plan with friends and family and/or coach. This will make you more accountable. You can ask them to keep you accountable or perhaps to check with you next time you meet or connect with them. Have others asked you in a few weeks or months how is it going? what is the progress? This will make sure your vision is real and that the plan is realistic based on the conversations. After those conversations, you might have to go back to step 1 or 2, review, re-check and then step 3 once again.