Ideas for Running Resolutions

Running Goals to Keep You Motivated

If you need to kick-start your running motivation, here are some ideas for running goals and resolutions.

Mentor a new runner.

Runners Warming Up Before Race
Chris Leschinsky

Starting a new running habit can be intimidating and feel overwhelming, so it always helps when a friend or family member is willing to offer guidance, advice, and support. If you have a family member or friend who's expressed an interest in running, ask her if she'd like to join you for a run (at her pace) or needs help shopping for running shoes and gear. You might be surprised at how helping a newbie get started also improves your own motivation to run.
Also see: 9 Ways to Help Beginner Runners

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Set a new PR.

Marathon Finish Photo
Getty Images

Trying to beat your personal record at a specific race distance is always a fun and motivating challenge. Of course, once you reach a certain age, beating a PR from your younger years can be completely unrealistic. So focus on creating new challenges, such as decade PRs, where you try to beat your personal best in that distance during the last ten years. Or, if you reached a milestone or had a life-changing event, like having a baby, try to beat your best time since that event.
Also see: How to Run a Faster Marathon
Tips for Running Faster

Run for a cause.

Race for the Cure runners
Linda Spillers/Getty Images

Whether you want to help fight cancer, prevent animal cruelty, or support another cause, there are hundreds of organizations that organize races or offer training to help raise awareness or funds. Some of the biggest race series and training programs include the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team in Training, and the American Cancer Society's DetermiNation. Pick your favorite cause and search their website to find out if and when they have races.
Also see: Charity Running Groups

Try a theme race.

Getty Images AsiaPac
From mud runs to color runs to zombie runs, there are so many race options beyond the traditional 5K these days. The races are a fun challenge and a great way to bond with running friends.

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Save money on running.

Running Shoe Store
Digital Vision

Although running is a simple sport, you can end up spending a lot of money on running gear, race entries, race-related travel, sports nutrition, and plenty of other things. From buying older models of running shoes to shopping for running clothes at the end of a season to making your running shoes last longer, there are lots of strategies for making your running dollars go farther.

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Avoid being sidelined with running injuries.

Runners knee injury
Comstock Images

This is a tricky one because, of course, no one wants to get injured, but injuries inevitably happen. However, there are plenty of proactive steps you can take to injury-proof yourself. Focus on avoiding common injury-causing habits such as doing too much too soon, not wearing the right running shoes, not strength-training, and not taking rest days when you're feeling pain.
Also see: 7 Ways to Stay Injury-Free

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Volunteer at a race.

Race Volunteer at Water Stop
Salah Malkawi/ Getty Images

Volunteering at a race is a great way to give back to the running community and experience the fun, excitement, and motivation of a race (without the performance anxiety!). Volunteers typically help with registration, crowd control, passing out water, or the much-coveted job of placing medals around finishers' necks. If you've never run a road race before, volunteering is an excellent way to get your feet wet before you take the plunge and sign up for a race. And runners can also save money by volunteering at races because many races usually give their volunteers incentives, such as free race registration or running gear.

Race directors are always looking for people willing to donate time. To get involved with a local road race, contact your local road runners club. Or, if you want to volunteer for a big event, such as a marathon, check out the volunteer opportunities section on the race's web site. Seeing the smiles of appreciation and gratitude from runners will definitely make it worth your time and get you motivated to train for your next race.

Be a social runner.

Group running
Christopher Futcher

Running with others is usually much more fun and motivating than going solo. Join a running club or charity team, or organize your own regular running group with friends and family members.
Also see: How to Be a Friendly Runner
Benefits of Group Running
5 Ways to Be a More Social Runner

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Try a new distance.

Marathon 26.2 finish sign
Getty Images

Running the same race distance over and over can get monotonous and boring. Add a little variety this year by finding some new races at different distances, and maybe even branching out and doing a trail race or a relay race. You may even want to think about checking a specific dream destination race off your bucket list.
Also see: How to Find Local Races

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