Happy New Year’s Eve!  What a great time to reflect on the past year of running and get planning for 2013.  Planning can be for a specific target event (your first 10km, a destination half-marathon, etc.) or for general training and fitness goals.

Be it a New Year’s Resolution or simply a commitment to our selves, setting running goals for the upcoming season is important.  What is a commitment? tells us it is a pledge or promise; an obligation.  Hmmm… obligation… that’s a big one.  One can’t back down from an obligation.  But that’s the point of making one in the first place.  Here are some tips to help you keep on track.

There have been several acronyms made available over the years to help with Resolutions and Goal setting.  SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time bound.  Not bad for the left-brained half of the population, but what about the artsy/creative types?  DUMB: Dreamy, Unrealistic, Motivating, Bold.  Use whichever one will keep you focused on the goal.

Write the goals down.  Use Post-It notes on the fridge, bathroom mirror, dresser… wherever you’ll see it regularly.  Put a re-occurring event in your electronic calendar.  You want to have a constant reminder of your goals.

Actually enter the race.  There are few things as motivating for most of us as spending some hard earned cash to enter a race.  Once the money is paid, the commitment becomes real.  The training must happen so that the race can be somewhat comfortable.   Another reason to get registered early is that races fill up alarmingly fast.  Many of the big city races have gone to a lottery system to get in.  This means an electronic entry months and months in advance of the actual race date.

Tell friends and family.  Accountability to others will keep you on track.  Having your mother ask about your training during your weekly phone call home can certainly be a motivating discussion.  Make use of the blogosphere, Facebook, and other social media sites continues the accountability by showing others that you are working towards your goal.  My personal favourite site is which is Facebook for runners.  In fact, dailymile will auto post each workout to my Facebook page so I get two sets of friends seeing what I’m doing each day.

Now is the time to create a plan and let the world know about it.  Hold yourself accountable and allow others to hold you accountable too.  In the end, you’ll reap the benefits of being well prepared and even better supported.


run on… and on… and on…