Top 5 Tips For Anyone Considering Running as a New Year’s Resolution

So I’ve been running for a bit now. Thought I would offer some of the top observations I’ve made while running. It seems timely to share these as New Year’s is about a week away, and everyone is disgusted with themselves because of all the holiday treats they’ve consumed. We’re all motivated to do something right now, aren’t we?

You might call these tips or tricks for the runner. I call them “5 reasons why running should be banned forever and replaced with happy thoughts.”

5) Running is not a guarantee you will lose weight. It is a guarantee for soreness that lasts all day long. But I’ve heard one also has to change their diet in addition to exercise. I’d like to continue to believe this is a myth perpetuated by organic farmers, but the scale don’t lie. This takes the commitment to be in a relationship with Running to a whole new level. You have to ask yourself: Is it worth it?

4) Running against the wind is much harder than running with the wind. One time I think I was actually losing ground for about 43 seconds. Right before I collapsed on the side of the road. To keep this from happening to you, I recommend running behind a large, slow-moving object. Like an ice cream truck. Then when you’re done, you can treat yo’ self!

3) The runner’s phrase “the wall” (as in “I was coasting ’til I hit the wall”) is very misleading. Gives the impression there’s just one. Also gives the impression that you run through it. Ha. More like they run through you. A much better name would be “the Rocky’s.” Because they’re non-stop, and one comes right after the other. Rocky I, Rocky II, Rocky III, Rocky IV, Rocky V, Judge Dredd, and Rocky VI. And they progressively get worse. Except for the last one which is surprisingly pleasant, well-written and executed.

2) When your mind is engaged with an idea, you don’t notice the physical pain from running. It’s almost as if for that brief time you’re not in pain. The movie, The Matrix, might have stumbled onto something revolutionary. Maybe the human brain is a powerful reality-bender. If your brain tells you you’re dead, you’re dead. Even if you’re really not. Ergo, if your brain tells you you’re alive and floating on the air, then you can keep running until you’re literally dead, which would totally throw your brain for a loop. Sounds dangerous. Staying on the couch sounds safer.

1) There is a point in every run where the run becomes a walk. It’s inevitable. You feel it coming. The run moves from a  jog (this takes place about 11 seconds in for me), moves to a slow jog, then a barely discernible jog, which is honestly slower than the average speed walk. At this point you know it’s only a matter of time until you will have to begin walking, or stop altogether.

But here’s what I’ve learned: You can always run just a bit further than you think possible. At least until you reach the point where you can’t, and you are now dead. Unless your brain quickly convinces you you’re not really dead (see #4 above).

But this is what keeps me coming back for more. Running a little bit farther or faster than I did the time before. Making progress.

What helps you stick to your goals?

  • Ben

    Tim, thank you so much for writing this. I had been planning on taking up running as a way to stay in better shape. Because of your insights, I now realize my effort would be in vain. I think I will stay on the couch as it does seem much safer. Thanks again!

    • Tim

      My pain is your gain, my friend.

  • robshep

    I hate running! What helps me the most is running with friends. It gives me something to talk to and it helps me to compete against someone. I wouldn’t have been able to finish my 10K if I wasn’t running with friends.

    • Tim

      That’s a good tip. If I ran with others, they’d have to be very patient! And it’d be helpful if they knew CPR, too…

  • Stephen Haggerty

    Hilarious, Tim. I think we should spread the word that it’s a “myth perpetuated by organic farmers” so no others are harmed. But for real, I was going to take up running in the new year, so thanks for saving me.

    • Tim

      Glad I could help, Stephen. Now excuse me, I need to go eat some more Christmas cookies.

  • Jon

    Tim, please start finding spiritual significance in something other than exercise. You’re making me look bad in front of the wife!

    • Tim

      Well, Jon, I guess you know what your New Year’s Resolution should be… and the right answer is not “kill your brother.”