December is a busy month, many people don’t have as much time to train, get less sleep, and more eating and celebrating. With the New Year 2019 coming, often people choose to follow a very strict diet or intense training to make up for the lack of fitness for the last month. But the best way to kick start a Healthy & Fit New Year is to plan a sustainable training year and a clean, balanced enjoyable diet. First, start thinking about your running goals and start planning for 2019. Following an established program can help runners ensure that they choose the right races that will follow their fitness level. Signing up for a couple of exciting races will ensure that you stay motivated, fit and keep training to enjoy a great year 2019! Consider these steps when planning your year, either on the trail or on the road.
- Know why you chose specific goals or races- For each race or goals you are targeting, figure out the reasons you picked those goals; personal best, new adventure, new distance, more challenging course. Being aware of “why” you chose specific goals will help you stick to your goals, keep you motivated and avoid other temptations that might come in the way. Make sure you set up goals that are achievable and realistic.
- Reflect and look at the past year- Once you’ve set up your goals, reflect on your previous running goals, experiences and training for the past year. Then look at the big scheme and ask yourself;
- What have your running goals been in the past?
- Have you been able to achieve them?
- What have you learned?
- Have you set up new goals?
- Will these new goals support your long term running happiness?
- Choose two main events- Focusing on two main races can help structure your year. Once you’ve decided on two main races, you can sign up for smaller races to help you train for your main ones. For example, you can sign up for a 25k race and a 50k race later in the year as your main races.
- Connect with runners who have experience- Especially in trail running, connecting with trail runners who have a lot of race experience can help you decide whether those races would align with your goals. Experienced runners or coaches are great resources to get information on specific races (course, technicality, gear, support). Reading race reports or feedback from runners can also be very helpful. Experienced runners can also give you detailed feedback on their training background and efficiency for those specific races.
- Set up your training calendar- At the beginning of the year, set up your calendar with your planned events and training program. Start with the main goal, and work backwards from there. Start planning each month, some runners find it helpful to divide the year into three-month sections, to periodize the training schedule. Make sure you update your calendar regularly.
- Try to join or set up a running group with similar plans- Sharing training runs, races with nice runners can make the training and racing a lot more fun and help you make it to the finish line feeling good. They are many trail and road running groups of different levels.
- Stick to your goals- Running is very helpful (especially running outdoors in nature) to stay physically and mentally healthy and happy! Consistent training can be challenging for some runners, stay focused on your goals and do the training. To make it easier, you can hire a coach, or write your own specific training plan. Remember why you set up your goals, stay focused, and connect with the running community.
These steps could make 2019your Best Year Ever! Happy New Year!
Train Well, Eat Well, Feel Great!