The Everyman: New Year’s Resolutions

Smarter, more consistent training should get The Everyman to a marathon finish line in under 4 hours this year. Photo: www.shutterstock.com

Editor Jason Devaney outlines five things he vows to do differently this year.

New Year’s resolutions have their purpose: They get people to do something, such as act nicer to people, find a new job, and lots of other good things.

But what’s the percentage of people who, after starting the year off right, fall off the wagon? According to Forbes, 8 percent of folks actually achieve what they set out to do when the calendar changes to Jan. 1.

That said, I’ve got a few New Year’s resolutions of my own, all related to my (very) amateur athletic life. Here’s hoping I don’t fail.

Break 4 Hours In A Marathon

I’ve only run one marathon, the 2011 Marine Corps Marathon, and my time was somewhere north 4 hours. I want to lower that standard this year. I’m a faster runner and better athlete than I was for that first 26.2-mile journey, so with some solid training I should be able to do it. A nagging IT band issue has forced me out of the Rock ‘n’ Roll DC Marathon in March, however. Cheers to getting healthy and running faster.

Don’t Get Mad At Drivers

My colleague Susan Lacke wrote a great piece about the dangers of texting and driving. People, please don’t do both at the same time. It’s dangerous for you and everyone else out there, especially us runners and cyclists. That said, I tend to get a little jumpy when I’m on my bike or out for a run and a car doesn’t give me what I think is enough room. I vow to stop waving my arms in unnecessary anger. It makes us all look bad.

Run More

It’s pretty simple. I need to get out and run more. Running is my least favorite discipline of the three that make up the sport of triathlon, and last year I didn’t put in enough miles — which I paid for on the run portion of my A race, Ironman 70.3 Timberman. I need to suck it up and make time for more runs this year. Training for a March half marathon is already getting me out the door.

RELATED: Start 2014 With A 30-Day Fitness Challenge

Use Technology Better

I bought a Garmin 910XT watch last year, and when it’s on my wrist it looks like I’m wearing a dinner plate. The thing has so many valuable functions, and I only use a handful of them. To me, training smarter involves analyzing my data after runs — and I’m not just talking about my mileage, heart rate and pace. I also pledge to use two online tools to keep track of my training: TrainingPeaks, where I’ll schedule my workouts and document what I’ve done, and Strava, which offers more data analysis and will show where I stack up to other people in my area in terms of running speed, mileage, etc. Some say natural, unplugged running is the way to go, but I’m taking the opposite approach for 2014.

Stretch

Imagine a snare drum. When I return from a run, particularly a long run, the muscles in my legs feel as tight as this percussion instrument. I am making a pledge to stretch more — after each run, to start. And foam rolling should also be added to the list, particularly because of my aforementioned IT band problem. How about this: I’ll stretch after every run and strength session at the gym, and foam roll every night (for 30 days).

What are your resolutions this year?

RELATED: Change Up Your Training For 2014

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