The Casual Runner

Getting Started: New Year’s Resolutions

The calendar is about to turn from 2014 to 2015, and with that, we will all soon be faced with an onslaught of New Year’s traditions: the ball dropping in Times Square…parties where we eat and drink way too much…finding that special someone to kiss at midnight…and, of course, the inevitable New Year’s resolutions.  The Casual Runner Team has already been hearing from readers who are resolving to make sure that a healthy lifestyle is in store for them in 2015.  Whether it is beginning on their own Casual Running adventure, or working to improve their current training and performance goals, we are excited to be here to lend our support however we can.

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As we already have a lot of great content on our site to help people succeed in their New Year’s fitness resolutions, we thought it would be helpful to pull some of our past features together in one place for easy reference.  If you have friends who are considering getting into running (or walking, or run/walking, or triathlons, or really anything), consider sending them the link to this feature to help them out.  You never know, you may just get a new running buddy or two out of it.  You can also keep it handy for yourself for those times where your motivation may be lacking or the temptation to not stick to your resolution seems a bit too compelling.

We all know that sticking to our New Year’s resolutions is not easy.  Recently Mike celebrated his third runniversary, and he will tell you that he did not get there until after he had failed several times to stick to a healthy exercise routine that worked for him. So, in a sense, we really are all in this one together.

To help you out, we kicked our “get started” series off with a checklist of the top 10 things you need to know to get up and get on your way to becoming a Casual Runner. These principles really apply to any fitness routine that may be at the heart of your fitness goals. Do not be intimidated by the prospect of a New Year’s resolution. Instead, think of this as your own personal starting line, your chance to succeed in changing your life in an enjoyable way.

Once you make that commitment to find a routine that you will enjoy, if it is Casual Running, you need to make sure you buy the right pair (or pairs) of running shoes. A good pair of running shoes are, after all, a Casual Runner’s best friend.

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Once you have the gear, the game really becomes more mental than physical, as we promise you, the physical accomplishments will come with time if you stick to your training plan. As such, you need to stay positive about your own personal goals and desires, and recognize that you are indeed making progress every time you get up and get moving.  Additionally, you need to be honest with yourself when training and running races.  If you have a goal, do not let up until you meet that goal. But, at the same time, do not become so focused on that goal that you forget that the key to succeeding in, and sticking with, a fitness routine is that you need to ENJOY yourself while doing it. So always remember to HAVE FUN.

Don’t worry about being perfect, or even being great right out of the gates. It will take time, commitment, and dedication to succeed in your Casual Running adventure. So go into it with the right frame of mine, and Just Do it!  Yes, we all sometimes have a fear of failure, but don’t let it get you down. Instead, use that fear to motivate you to go farther than you ever thought possible. Seek help and support from your friends and family as they want to see you succeed. But, as they may not always be around, you can turn to for help and to social media for the power of positive peer pressure.

We are not going to promise you that your training will be all sunshine and rainbows, the truth is that you will have to train under some less-than-ideal conditions, so you need to learn to adapt and to be safe, especially when running in the dark. Oh, and do watch out for some of those mean ladies and the infamous ninja dog walkers!

We know that we covered a lot already, but if you are looking for a little more motivation to help you get out and get going (and to keep doing it throughout all of 2015), you can check out our series of First Mile features, and, if you are so inclined, we’d love to add your own story to this collection!

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– Jennifer is a mainstay of the Casual Runner Team, but she had to start somewhere. Here is her first mile story.
– Mike also had to start somewhere. As we mentioned above, it took him several times of trying and failing before he was able to succeed in his goal of becoming a Casual Runner, Here is his story.
– The newest addition to the team, Steve, ran his first mile, and never looked back.
– In sharing her first mile story, Jen helped us understand the way we view ourselves as runners and running itself.
– Ryan’s compelling first mile involved conquering some personal challenges.
– Carly shared with us why she wants to be a runDisney Princess, and reminded us of the importance of setting personal goals and sticking to them.
– Allison inspired us by sharing where she found her own inspiration.
– Kari’s first miles and race experience were unique and personal, and serve to remind us that we all have unique experiences and stories to share.

So, whatever your resolutions and goals may be in the New Year, we wish you the best of luck. Remember, while some may think of running as a solitary endeavor, you will not be alone as the Casual Runner Team will be here to support you ever step of the way.  Good luck and best wishes from the entire Casual Runner Team for a happy and healthy 2015!


The Casual Runner Team wants to hear from you. If you have any questions about anything we cover here on Casual Runner, if you have any questions regarding running gear or training for your own Casual Running needs, or if there is anything that you would like us to cover on Casual Runner, please leave a comment or email us using the links below.  To ensure that you do not miss all of the great content from Casual Runner, please be sure to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.  See you out on the running trails!