Resolve to run in 2018.
According to a recent poll from Marist College in New York, being a better person and weight loss are the most popular resolutions for 2018. Exercising more, eating healthier, and getting a better job round out the top spots. “With weight loss tying for the number-one resolution and exercise and healthy eating making the top five, health is top of mind,” says Dr. Lee Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.
Are these resolutions kept for 365 days, however? The numbers are, unfortunately, disappointing. A 2015 U.S. News & World Report article says that 80% of resolutions fail by February. With such deflating statistics, the question becomes, “Why bother? Why should I resolve to lose weight or exercise more or eat healthier if I’m doomed to fail?”
“Unless you first change your mind, don’t expect your health goals to materialize. It’s not the gym, Pilates class or diet that will change you – it’s your mind,” says Joseph Luciani. Or in the immortal words of the King of Pop Michael Jackson, “Take a look at yourself and then make a change.” Though change can certainly begin in a Pilates class or the local gym, at Big Peach Running Co., we hope you will, unsurprisingly, resolve to run more in 2018.
Begin with the End in Mind
What’s your running goal for 2018? To lose a few pounds? Finish a 5K? Or actually like running? “Begin with the end in mind,” says Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. “How different our lives are when we really know what is deeply important to us, and, keeping that picture in mind, we manage ourselves each day to be and to do what really matters most,” he adds.
Covey is communicating that we should visualize the desired outcome of our goals. In the case of running, picture the finish mat of that popular local 5K race you’ve watched others complete in years past. Now picture yourself crossing over it too. What feelings come to mind? Excitement? Happiness? Accomplishment? Start with that mental image. Begin with the end in mind, and then formulate a plan.
As author and statesman Benjamin Franklin puts it, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” Finishing a 5K, for instance, is certainly doable without a plan, but purposeful preparation precedes peace of mind. In other words, a structured timeline (i.e. using the calendar) of running and the corresponding recovery will lower the risk of injury and raise the likelihood of success. While Big Peach Running Co. doesn’t offer formal training plans for races, we do provide weekly group runs across all seven locations that welcome all ability levels.
Are you struggling to start or working through a pesky injury? The Big Peach Midtown store hosts a “Struggle Run” every other Sunday for runners contending with these very issues. The target mile pace for the struggle run is 8:30-13 minutes, and no runner is left behind on the course. The Suwanee store hosts a group run twice a week, and attendance, even in the winter months, is still robust. Runners working through injury might also consider some miles off-road. Along with the two weekly group runs, the Suwanee store offers a monthly group trail run at Haw Creek Park in Cumming. The 5K course, a loop, is beginner-friendly and scenic.
Give Yourself the Gift of Done
“When you study goal setting you look at a variety of statistical factors, but the two most interesting are: (1) satisfaction, and (2) performance success. One speaks to how you felt about the process and the second focuses on what you actually got done,” writes author Jon Acuff in Finish. What is Jon saying here? Fun goals win! If a Color Run or Bubble Run or Warrior Dash – all untimed events – sound more fun than a competitive 5K or 10K race on the streets, go for it! Fun goals win.
Whether you gravitate towards a Warrior Dash or the AJC Peachtree Road Race, running is more fun with the right gear too. Being properly fitted for shoes is a subject that we discuss as a company ad nauseam, but it bears repeating. The right shoe (1) protects from impact, (2) provides a stable platform, and (3) accommodates foot characteristics. However, what’s a comfortable shoe without an element of fun? Shoe companies are responding to this demand by runners though. In an article for Bloomberg, Claire Suddath called shoes by Brooks “something you might have seen on a Mall of America power walker in 1998.”
That changed last year as the company retooled their design process. “It updated its colors – a lot of black, some white with gray, a little neon,” Suddath added. Why the change? Fun shoes win. The Brooks Levitate is the company’s “most popular shoe in six years.” From the outsole to the midsole to the upper, the Levitate is a fun shoe.
Sharpen the Saw
Stephen Covey’s final principle, which also serves as an excellent summary, is simple but profound. Sharpen the saw. “It basically means expressing all four motivations. It means exercising all four dimensions (Physical, Social/Emotional, Spiritual, Mental) of our nature, regularly and consistently in wise and balanced ways,” he writes.” Eating well, exercising regularly, and resting comprise the Physical dimension.
Runners sharpen the saw by running. If you desire to become a better runner in 2018, make it a consistent part of your weekly fitness regimen. Pursue good form, stretch regularly, and integrate numerous workout types (e.g. tempo runs, mile repeats, fartleks, hill repeats).
The late author and runner Dr. George Sheehan likens running to play. “For every runner who tours the world running marathons, there are thousands who run to hear the leaves and listen to the rain, and look to the day when it is suddenly as easy as a bird in flight,” he writes. Whether you have ambitions to finish your first 26.2 race in 2018 or are content with the leaves and the rain on an overcast morning when everyone else is still sleeping, running should always be anchored in play. Running should be tethered to fun. May your best miles in 2018 be those covered on foot.
Austin Bonds is a Guest Advocate at the Big Peach Suwanee location.