Monday, January 2, 2012

Nike: Running New Year's Resolutions

originally posted December 18, 2009 by Coach Jay

Give That Resolution the Ole’ 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

It’s a given. Everyone has some variation of “get in shape” on their New Year’s to-do list. The problem is that most don’t have a plan of attack. Luckily, there are some guidelines that apply to every runner, from first-timers to marathoners. These 5 tips will help you stay motivated, avoid injuries, and keep you off the couch come February.

1. Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals
Don’t say you want to “get in shape” next year. Set a resolution goal that is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. Picking a race in 2010 might be a nice place to start, but base it on what level you’re currently at, allowing enough time to reach it.

Or get an expert’s advice on how to get there with a Nike+ Coach program. Beginners can start with a Walk to Run program then upgrade to a 5K once they get the hang of things. The schedule is already written out for you and will keep you from taking on too much.

2. Practice Patience
Running 5 miles each day in the first week won't get you in shape faster. Your body needs time to adjust. Find a balance of how far, fast and often you can workout without throwing in the towel. Running a little each week is better than being burnt out by week two. Maintain a minimum, even if it’s 30 minutes, two or three days a week.

3. Tell Your Friends
Make your goals known. Find a buddy who can hold you accountable for your New Year’s resolution. Or better yet, find a buddy who can run with you. Nike+ has an entire community for this. You can join a challenge, post your runs to a newsfeed (or not), talk a little trash to your competition and much more.

4. Reward Yourself
If getting out the door is difficult for you, pat yourself on the back every time you do. Get a new pair of ankle socks, run to that pizza shop you wanted to try, or download a new song for your playlist. Get excited about running and use it to push yourself further.

5. Get the Right Gear
Don’t dust off those old sneakers and take them for a run. Shoes are your most important running tool and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Pick out trainers that best suit your running style to avoid injury. If you’re not sure where to start, Nike+ has a Shoe Finder that can help you find your perfect fit.

So there you have it. It’s not rocket science. It just takes some strategic planning and the right mindset. So gear up, set your goals, be patient, get some buddies and treat yourself every now and then. And, of course, don’t forget to stretch.