Make 2017 the year you achieve your goals, as trail-running journalist Kelly Lucas explains
Whether you’re a seasoned racegoer, a weekend warrior or like to jog the middle line, so to speak, setting realistic goals is without doubt one of the best ways to get the most out of your running.
With the whole year in front of you, now is the perfect time to set out your plans for the year ahead.
Before you start dreaming of winning that early season 5k or spring marathon, however, have a think about the sort of goals you want to set.
While it’s nice to imagine finishing your first half marathon or even placing in a race, the reality is that even for people who might have the speed to top the leader board, on race day, there are a multitude of outside factors that can affect your result.
So rather than focusing on the result of a single race, try to think more about your training and performance overall.
TOP TIPS FOR SETTING GOALS
It’s an old adage but based on solid research – make sure you set goals that are specific and measurable.
THINK OUTSIDE THE TRACK
There are lots of ways to improve your running and they don’t always involve... well, running.
Swimming boosts endurance and offers an excellent alternative way to train if you’re injured. It also increases oxygen capacity – you can only breathe at certain times, encouraging your body to be more efficient in using oxygen and is a great way to practise active recovery.
Cycling is a great way to increase leg strength and get your legs used to moving at a higher cadence.
Yoga not only strengthens your all-important core, it also improves flexibility and range of motion, which is integral to keeping your body healthy and injury free.
I’M ALL SET, BUT HOW DO I STICK TO THEM?
The New Year can be a fantastic time to set resolutions but the joke about gyms being full in the first week of January and empty by the last has sadly become a reality in many cases. So while it’s great to head into 2017 armed with a list of things you are ‘definitely going to do this year’, don’t get too hung up on a resolutions list.
USE SWIMMING TO REALISE YOUR GOALS
Knowing how fast, how far and which strokes are the right ones for you in the pool is as important as planning a gym session. Speedo has created Swim Coach: personalised swimming plans that can help you focus your pool sessions, whether you are a runner, a cyclist or love yoga. Pick from a range of goals – endurance, recovery, improving flexibility, firming up leg muscles and more. The session can last for 30, 60 or 90 minutes, plus you can select your ability level so there is something for everyone.
Please consult your GP or doctor before starting any new training regime