2015 has been a great year for running in Taipei. We’ve seen new race organizers coming to the forefront to offer a new breed of vertical trail racing. We’ve had a memorable Typhoon season, making or breaking some of our favorite trails in the area and leading to new discoveries. The excellent fall weather has been surprisingly dry, helping us to continue to gear up for the winter/spring 2016 race season.
With New Year’s just around the corner, it’s a great time to reflect on last year’s accomplishments, re-evaluate our goals, pat ourselves on the backs and get hungry for 2016, another potentially great year in running. Here are a few New Year’s Runnolutions I’m committing to in 2016.
1. Run faster – I am a self proclaimed endurance junkie, always choosing the longest distance in a race. Although I may always inherently be long distance runner, running hard at a variety of distances boasts a number of cardiovascular benefits, as well as improving cadence and overall speed for a marathon.
How? I’m signing up for a 5k this year to see what my pace is at a shorter distance. This is completely out of my comfort zone, but shorter distance events require runners to change their mindset and alter their training program to include more speedwork, while also improving the heart’s ability to pump oxygen rich blood, good for any distance.
2. Push harder – Mental toughness is the key to pushing an elite athlete through the pain and toward being the first to cross the finish line. Running hard, especially in those last few kilometers, goes against our natural survival instinct. Your breathing quickens, your legs burn, but in order to reach that PR you have to be able to keep pushing and end the race strong.
How? I’m going to commit to training-to-race. I currently include weekly intervals in my training schedule, but am I giving them everything I’ve got? Research says probably not, but this year I am going to be more mindful in pushing my limits. Here are two popular workouts that can help you push harder on race day.
3. Cross train – The best thing to improve your running is, you guessed it, running. Although no amount of swimming, cycling or strength training is going to perfectly mimic the muscles and co-ordination required for running, it can improve different aspects of your fitness without punishing some of your already over-used muscles. Cross training can aid in reducing injuries, facilitating recovery and improving overall fitness.
How? Get excited about it. Although running will always be my main event, it doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have goals related to my cross training sport of choice. Runners who incorporate triathlon training into their regimen can become much better runners than on running alone. So this year I’ll be looking a little closer at the triathlon schedule, perhaps planning a bike trip across the country, or maybe just jumping in the pool a little more.
Have any runnolutions this year? Get ready because 2016 is going to be great!