Making Your Ongoing Resolution Stick


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Have a big running goal? Consider taking a bite-sized approach.


New runners working toward their first mile have a lot in common with seasoned runners who hit Olympic qualifying time: You’re on the same playing field when it comes to tackling a New Year’s running resolution. .

There will be great days and there will be really bad days. There will be days when you are so confident that you will consider moving on and there will be days when you question whether you have what it takes to pursue a goal.

So this month, we’re talking with experts about how to have your best — and healthiest — running of the year. Last week, we spoke to Yera Patel, a physical therapist at NYU Langone Health and Justin Ross, a clinical psychologist in Denver.


These conversations have been edited and summarized.

Q&A: with Justin Ross, clinical psychologist

Why: How should people approach ongoing New Year’s resolutions from a mental perspective?


a: When we set goals, we often see that outcome. We see pictures of people crossing the Greeley Tribune Marathon finish line, and it looks amazing, and we want to do the same. But what we don’t see is the hours and miles and the bad weather and all the challenges in the months and years along the way.

A lot of the day in isn’t going to be glamorous. And it’s not all going to go according to plan. It’s okay to have flexibility and aversion. We may be set on outcome goals, but we need to align the goals with performance standards to get there.

Why: How do you advise athletes to handle those tough moments?

a: When you’re staring at a big, hairy new goal, you need to know that challenges lie along the way. Plan how you are going to achieve your goal and how you will face those obstacles when – if not – they do occur.

Sometimes we need to take a bite-sized approach to whatever task we do. So if you’ve been staring for a long time, instead of focusing on miles, say, “I am.” right now I’ll put on my shoes and see how I feel. The word “just” can be very important.

Then, “I am right now I’m going to go out and see how I feel,” and “I am right now Going to run 1 mile and see how I feel. ,

When we take that one bite, it helps. We surprise ourselves and complete the entire workout.

Why: How do you build these mental muscles?

a: We often don’t think that our mind can be trained, but it is trained just like our body. Every single run every single day, we can spend five to 10 minutes working on some mental skill—which could be intentional control or focus or mental fortitude or patience or self-talk.

Why: What should you do when you fall short of the daily goal?

a: Give yourself the ability to recognize that running consistently—hitting most of the mileage, being mentally tough—will put you in a position to achieve your goals.

Not exercising is frustrating, but you need to have a great framework. A missed workout doesn’t mean your goal is out of reach.

Why: Let’s say I set a big goal that already seems impossible. How do I redefine my resolutions?

a: We all need courage to make our goals come true as we move forward. I like the idea of ​​monthly goals compared to annual goals because it allows for flexibility and customization. Re-evaluate what is appropriate, what your schedule looks like and what is needed so that you can set up your February month.

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Q&A with Yera Patel, physical therapist

Why: What kind of injuries do you see at the beginning of the year?

a: It’s a new year and people are extra motivated, so runners will get out there and run longer distances. One of the biggest things we see across the board—whether it’s a seasoned runner or a new runner—are overuse injuries.

Overuse injuries can happen for a number of reasons. Sometimes it’s nutritional reasons, sometimes it’s a lack of strength and flexibility, but often it’s not just a matter of programming their training.

Why: How should runners approach their training to avoid overuse injuries?

a: Programming is the most important thing. It can be very frustrating for someone when they get too excited to run and then they get something like a bone strain injury, colloquially called a shin splint. So make sure it is a gradual plan that has variety.

Talk to someone who’s done it before, or look online for a plan that has variations on a week-to-week basis. Instead of just running long distances, do hill training, speed training, strength training and cross-training.

Why: What advice would you give to someone just starting out with strength training?

a: We suggest lots of unilateral work – that is, lots of single leg work. You want to work the glutes and quads. Actually working in a single-leg capacity translates to bounding from one leg to the other.

Cross-training is also really huge. At least once a week you should rest or do some sort of cross-training, which could be cycling, swimming or low-impact work.

Why: How do you know if you’ve crossed a line after tolerable pain?

a: It really depends on the injury. We use a symptom-based model, so if you have a zero to 2 out of 10 on the pain scale, it’s a safe range, but if you find that you’re above 2, it’s a different The story is

It also depends on whether this is the case with tendinopathy or tendinosis – overuse injuries – or bone strain injuries.

Why: Are running injuries inevitable?

a: Running is unfairly monstrous. It is demanding on the body, but in many ways it is a functional function: you are running for the bus; You are running for your kids. It’s a functional thing, and it can be done safely, but you have to make sure you have the strength.

This article originally appeared in the new York Times,