Categories: Train

Is running your New Year’s resolution for 2018? Top 10 tips from an Olympic athlete on how to stick to it

January 3, 2018

The start of a new year is an ideal time to look ahead and set fitness goals for yourself. Running is a popular New Year’s resolution, but without a plan, you may find it tricky to stick to it.

If you’ve decided that 2018 is the year you’ll finally get your running shoes on, take a look at these top ten tips from double Olympian Eilish McColgan on how to follow through with that running New Year’s resolution.

top ten tips for sticking to your running New Year’s resolution

  1. START SMALL

Everyone needs to start somewhere: put your trainers on, get outside and set realistic goals. To get started, you can walk for one minute, run for one minute and repeat this five times. Then continue to build it up by an additional minute every third day until you can run for five minutes without stopping – you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can run without stopping.

  1. GET THE RIGHT KIT

All you need is a good pair of trainers, leggings and a thermal top and you’re good to go! Buying new training gear will give you a confidence boost and can really be that added push to keep you motivated – it’s always great to look and feel your best while running! With dark mornings and evenings, some reflective clothing to keep you visible is a great way to stay safe.

  1. MONITOR YOUR PROGRESS

I love keeping a training diary – it allows me to see the improvements I’m making every week. An easy way to keep track is to log your training through Polar Flow. It’s a brilliant app that allows you to have a record of your training and track your progress as a runner.

Plus, it will keep you motivated to continue pursuing your goals. In Flow, you can retrace your run to see where your heart rate was at its highest and see how well you’ve slept. Having such a comprehensive overview of your fitness and progress is important when making improvements.

  1. DRINK MORE WATER

Hydration is key. Keep those muscles loose by staying hydrated.

  1. FIND A RUNNING BUDDY

When the cold, winter months take over, the best way to stay motivated is to find a running buddy! If you’re apprehensive about starting a running program or are worried about being committed, find one or two close friends to join you. Knowing that you’re meeting someone else for a run keeps you motivated and it will be exciting to share your running journey with someone else.

  1. ENTER A RACE

There is nothing quite like having a date set in the diary to keep you driving towards your goal. It could be your first ever ParkRun, 10K or even a half marathon if you’re feeling adventurous. It will certainly keep you committed to the program that you set yourself.

  1. BUY A GPS WATCH

The Polar M430 is a great way to track your runs. It’s always nice to know exactly how far you ran and how fast you were going. The M430 gives you detailed feedback for every kilometer that you run and seeing these figures improve is an incredible motivation.

With the heart rate being wrist-based, I like to check my resting heart rate in the morning. If it’s decreasing, it suggests my fitness is on the rise.

  1. ADD A LITTLE EXTRA

Add in some basic core stability and mix some cross-training into your workout routine by taking a spin class, going swimming or to a boot camp class. These will all benefit your running and reduce the chance of running injury.

  1. BE PATIENT

Being patient is key – success doesn’t happen overnight. It’s easy to get frustrated in the early stages of a running program but remember to enjoy it. With every step you’re discovering new limits and becoming stronger each time you lace up your trainers and head out the door.

  1. ASK FOR ADVICE

The best way to keep motivated in a new running program is to decide on your goals and find the right advice to help you achieve them. It could be from family or friends or your local running club. It may even be a good idea to get some online advice from a running coach.

To get started, download Polar Flow and create a personal running plan.