Daily Chatter

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Runner's New Year

The new year may be celebrated on December 31st at midnight with the raising of glasses and exchanging of kisses for most people but for runners the new year begins months earlier with spring race registration often starting before the first snow has covered the ground to herald in winter.  We sit under our laptops or have fingers poised above our tablets waiting for the moment to click register hoping the website doesn't crash before your entry is complete.  Maybe a few of those spring races are a little more old school and you mail in your entry form only to wait through the process to find out if your a runner or on the wait list.  It can all add to the challenge of a hectic holiday season!

Since I don't have much control over the registration process for the races I want to run, I focus on doing things that will help me minimize the negative effects of those sometimes frustrating processes. 

I make sure I know which races I want to include in my spring schedule and then I understand how their registration process works.  Do I get priority if I have run it before?  Will there be a lottery?  If I get in and can't run can I defer?  Do club members get early registration?  How long will I wait before I know if I am in or not?  Just like I research the race course, aid stations and conditions, I want to understand what it takes to get to run the event.

Focus on the positive
Once I know about the registration process I focus on everything I have that will help my chances of getting to run and I let go of everything else.  I don't complain on line or with running friends about the hoops that I have to run through to get registered.  I can't change it.  I can focus on meeting the requirements.

Get A Plan
I may not get into every race I register for but I will get into some of them so why not get a plan.  Whenever I have a little extra time I get out the calendar and pencil in the races I have/will register for and see how they all fit to help get me to my A race for the spring schedule.  I pencil in what plan B is for races that I might not get to run.  Will I do a long run with friends or plan to find another event to fill any gaps?

For me, the best piece of advice on surviving that Runner's New Year is consistency.  While many runners may enjoy a bit of a holiday taper, I try to keep my workouts consistent and maybe even add to them to help stay focused over the holiday season.  It takes creativity but runners are already great at "fitting it in."  Splitting a run, joining a challenge, starting an added cross training element , focusing on clean eating are all things I do over the holiday season to keep my fitness level and my enthusiasm up.

Your Runner's New Year or the holiday season doesn't have to derail your attitude or undermine your fitness.  As in all things it is simply the way we chose to look at it.  Chose to leave these season better than you started it.   

Want to see a little of what I've been doing? 
Click HERE


  1. Great tips, Shelly! I'm trying to take this "off season" and refocus on my vertical strength I lost after Leadville. Just in case.... :)

    It looks a bit chilly in your neck of the woods (like the rest of the nation). Stay warm!

    And thanks for your very kind words on FB! :)

  2. This is why I love small races - none of those irritating little problems like selling out moments after registration opens and let's not get into parking! But I was hovering over my tablet at 3am signing up for my big 2014 race. I wasn't taking chances there, haha. You have me pegged.

  3. I never race, but it must be nice to have something to look forward to! Especially during Winter.


  4. Chose to leave these season better than you started it - that's such a great message!