So you have been running for some time now, and you are looking to set some goals or resolutions this coming 2018 to shake up your running routine. Here are some possible resolutions that you can make in the new year to add a new dimension to your running routine.
1) Run Further
If you have been racing marathons for some time now, why not try an ultra? For marathon runners, the shortest distance to be classified as an ultra for most people is 50km, which is offered at events such as the MSIG Action Asia Trail Race and has been taking place for the past couple of years in Singapore already.
As well, Craze Ultra takes place around August – September each year and has categories for beginner ultra runners, in the 43km and 78km distances.
Twilight Ultra Challenge and Bedok Reservoir Ultra Marathon are also ultra races that are good for novices. Within the respective time limits of 16 hours for Twilight and 12 hours for Bedok Reservoir Ultra, you can run any distance that you want. So this makes it good to test the waters out and race further than ever this New Year, but without the pressure.
2) Break your personal best
Many runners aspire to keep on breaking their personal best timings (PBs) but this is much easier said than done, especially if that personal best was set many years ago and you are getting no younger each year.
But instead of aiming to break your PBs if it may not be possible, why not instead try to chase your fastest timing over the last five years, which may be more achievable?
But by gradually working at it and shaking up your run routine, for example by incorporating hill runs, core exercise and consistent training, this will help you to become a stronger and better runner, and that will go a long way in running your fastest ever time in a while.
3) Take Up Yoga
Yoga helps runners in more ways than one. It is great to develop the hips and core muscles, which are essential to running well. At the same time, it makes your joints more supple and flexible.
Yoga also helps you to breathe more fully, and this will extend to when you are exhausted in the latter stages of a long run such as a marathon, as well.
So ultimately yoga will make you into a better runner.
Yoga poses however may be intimidating for runners, who may not always be known for their flexibility but if you look around, you should be able to find classes tailored towards beginners, or classes catered for athletes such as runners, and this would help you feel less intimidated and more able to learn.
4) Lose Weight
Runners know that losing weight may help them to improve their running timings and run faster, but losing weight is much harder to do in reality than in theory. And it won’t help with your weight loss plans too if you treat yourself to an unhealthy meal of char kway teow or laksa after every run, thinking that you have earned it.
Instead, to lose weight, one important thing is that you need to keep your portion sizes in check. Just because you ran, it does not mean that you can eat two plates of Hokkien Mee because you are feeling hungry.
Sure you can indulge in your cheat meals so that you are not depriving yourself, but maybe limit these to once or twice a week only. Eat well for the rest of the time, consuming foods such as lean proteins, healthy fats, nuts as well as lots of vegetables and fruits.
5) Give Triathlon A Go
Runners who are getting bored with simply running can give triathlon a go, as their new year resolution. Taking up triathlon does not need to be difficult. If you keep the triathlon distances short, such as with a Freshman (200m swim / 12km bike / 2km run) or Sprint (750m swim / 18km bike / 5km run), then it is perfectly doable for runners to train and complete a triathlon, with a couple of extra hours in the pool and on the bike per week. Simply add these to your regular running routine.