Most runners rely on willpower alone to sustain resolutions throughout the year, but willpower is not nearly enough. In order to create real change, habits and systems need to be put into place. Here are four simple tips to ensure you follow through on your goals.

Tip #1:  Set Realistic Expectations.

Your goal should stretch you but still be attainable.  For runners just starting out, instead of setting a number of miles to hit each week, you might want to consider setting a time frame.  For example, run for 20 minutes 3-5 days per week and then build on that. 

Tip #2:  Make a plan.

Take time to schedule your workout, write a meal plan, or map your running route.  If you don’t decide ahead of time when you are going to train, or what food you are going to eat, it’s likely you will succumb to whatever is convenient at the time. 

Tip #3: Create good habits or cut out negative ones.

Consistency is the key to change and it doesn’t happen without creating habits.  Use visual cues to make your new habits irresistible.  For example, set out your running clothes the night before you train so that you see them first thing in the morning. 

Tip #4:  Get Accountability.

Having a coach or running partner requires you to show up and do the work.  It’s important not to feel isolated when you are first starting out.

Being part of the RUNColumbus Race Series is another way to keep your focus. Register today to be part of Central Ohio’s competitive point-based race series that welcomes and celebrates all runners.

Adapted from RunFreeTraining.com.

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