How To Make Changes In Your Training

For many runners, suiting up this winter and hitting the roads or the trails is a New Year's resolution. Photo:

Take Things One Step At A Time

When most runners set a goal, it’s something ambitious, like finishing a marathon, becoming a vegetarian, finishing a race under a certain time goal, losing a certain amount of weight, etc. Being the ambitious, sometimes OCD personality runners are known for, we jump right into that goal and try to make a big, drastic change right away.

Personally, I think that’s the problem with New Year’s resolutions. They have this all-or-nothing connotation about how you’re supposed to approach effecting change in yourself. However, making a drastic change to your habits and routines is difficult to sustain and it’s a frequent reason resolutions typically fail.

A better approach is to breakdown your goal into a manageable, step-by-step process.

As an example, if you want to become a vegetarian you shouldn’t try to stop eating all meat on January 1. Instead, you should start by eliminating four-legged animals from your diet for a month or two. That’s a pretty easy change since it leaves chicken and fish and it allows you to gradually adapt to the new lifestyle. After another month or so, whenever you’re comfortable, eliminate two-legged animals from your diet. Continue the process until you’ve met your goal of becoming a vegetarian.

By breaking down your goal into a slow, step-by-step process you’ve effected major change to yourself in a matter of a few months but because of the gradual nature, you likely didn’t even recognize the difference in your routine.


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