Andrew Miller is an accomplished photographer, adventurer, and creative director focusing most of his work in winter climates where he explores and chases storms, usually with a snowboard under his feet. From the Andes, the Alps, Interior B.C. to the West Fjords of Iceland and high peaks of the Himalayas, his award-winning images have taken him to remote mountain ranges across the globe while working with a vast range of clients and editorial titles worldwide. From the skin track and helipad to the resort lift and sled trail, Andrew has been out there creating his work and quickly establishing himself as one of the most well-rounded photographers in the snow industry.
Nevada isn’t really high on the list of snowboard destinations for many people. To most, it’s just a drive-through state that stands in the way of getting to the Sierra or Rocky Mountains depending on which way you’re going. Usually, just a quick pit stop for gas and you’re back on the road stoked to cross the state line, but that’s just most people. These days seeking out some of the best adventures require looking into off the grid areas with little to no information, no cell service and usually you have to operate on a “Never know, till ya go” mentality. This particular trip started on Route 50 a.k.a “The Loneliest Road in America” traveling deep into Nowhere, Nevada in search of snow and obscure couloirs scattered above ancient Bristlecone Pine forests. Interesting enough the Bristlecone Pine is one the longest-lived life forms on Earth dated over 5,000 years old making it the oldest known individual of any species. That is just one of many random facts and all-out crazy urban Nevada legends from Aliens at Area 51, Buried Treasure, Mel Waters & the Devils Hole to the Basque Nevada Tree Carvers. The list goes on and makes for some fun campfire stories which we shared each night over a four day period of exploring in this unique area. We began the 5-mile skin into our camp with extremely heavy packs not knowing what to expect and left with a fulfilled sense of a conquered adventure with new peaks bagged, many couloirs shredded and a long tick list of objectives for the next time around. While these type of foot-powered adventures aren’t always easy and most are a total crapshoot, they always seem to leave a lasting impression and tend to be a highlight of the season.
Words by Tyler Wilkinson-Ray. I am a Colorado-based filmmaker with a focus on blending storytelling and cinematography. Most of my work fits in the outdoor film genre, and my passion is in capturing unique characters, discovering off-the-beaten-path stories, and finding new ways to talk about old problems. I’ve created content for some of the largest outdoor and tech companies on the planet and can play a variety of rolls from director to cinematographer, but most frequently I am hired as a one-stop-shop for content creation.
Aaron Rice grew up in New England, and fell in love with skiing at a young age. In High School he raced and instructed at the 240′ vertical Nashoba Valley. While at The University of Vermont he began exploring the backcountry and started to learn about avalanches. After graduating from UVM in 2012, Aaron moved to Alta, UT. He has been backcountry skiing there since. Each year doubling his vertical earned and pushing himself to ski harder and more technical lines, ski faster on the ups and downs, and ski longer days and longer lines.
In the summer of 2015, Aaron Rice reached out about a potential film project. A few days later, we met for a mountain bike ride in Vermont where we were both living at the time. I get pitched films all the time and very rarely do I sign on, but by the end of the ride I had agreed to make this film.
The film would be about Aaron and his attempt to set a new backcountry skiing record. The current record was 2 million feet in a calendar year without using chairlifts, snowmobiles, or helicopters. Aaron was going for 2.5 million, which meant he would need to average 7,000 ft a day, including rest and travel days.
I had no idea what Aaron’s chances were—he would later confess that he gave himself a 60% chance of breaking the record and a 40% of meeting his goal—but I knew the journey would be full of ups and downs, and if he broke the record it would make for one of only a few authentic stories that would come out of skiing that year. It was enough to convince me to follow him around the world for the next 12 months.
Most people, however, weren’t as easily convinced. Aaron was not a known professional skier. He had never done anything close to his goal of 2.5 million human powered vertical feet in the backcountry, and he lacked the usual sponsor backing to help fund the adventure. To say Aaron was an underdog would’ve been an understatement.
What motivated Aaron to dedicate an entire year to attempting to set a new record was a question that came up a lot. When people hear about record attempts, most people assume the goal is publicity or to make sponsors happy. It became clear very early on that this was not the case with Aaron. When I asked him on camera before he started his year he said he didn’t know, he didn’t have a good answer. He would later say he just wanted to ski a lot and travel, and getting a record seemed like a good way to do that. Well, you can ski a lot and travel a lot without needing to break a record, so I was still left wondering.
As winter 2016 approached, we filmed a little of Aaron’s prep through the fall and got a jump start on some skiing B-roll during December, 2016, but on January 1st, 2017 Aaron kicked off his adventure, and I did my best to hold on. I won’t go into the details of Aaron’s ups and downs since they’re covered in the film, but as a filmmaker this was one of the most challenging projects I’ve ever worked on. I didn’t follow Aaron on a daily basis. That would have been impossible with 50 pounds of camera gear. Instead, I would check in with him at least once a month and get caught up on how his challenge was progressing or on what hurdles he had hit.
I joined him for 3 weeks in Argentina, which was as fun to film as it was for Aaron to ski, and then flew back down to Chile for 36 hours to film him setting the new world record on Villarrica Volcano near Pucon, Chile. We wrapped up filming as Aaron hit 2.5 million feet a day early on December 29th, 2016. The editing took several months over the spring and summer of 2017, and then we finally premiered the film to a packed crowd at the Banff Mountain Film Festival. The film has since received a Powder Award for Best Documentary and a Vimeo Staff Pick. The awards and recognition have been a welcomed affirmation of the gamble we all took—Jaybird included—on this project.
Over the two years I worked with Aaron on this project, I eventually teased out what I think was as close to a reason for setting this record as Aaron had. The record was a means to an end. As Aaron had said on Day One, getting to ski everyday and traveling were, in fact, his goals, and while he could have just said, “I want to ski a lot this year” setting the goal of 2.5 Million was a powerful tool for making sure he actually did it—that he didn’t hit snooze when that alarm went off—because getting out of bed is often the hardest part. Once you’re halfway up a mountain, and the sun is rising behind you, you never wish you were back in bed sleeping. If there’s a takeaway for us “normal folk” who don’t want to set world records or don’t even know how to ski, it’s the power of setting ambitious goals and sticking to them––that applies to everyone.
Thank you Jaybird for believing in two underdogs, and I hope you all enjoy the film.
Photos by: Tyler Wilkinson-Ray
My name is Justin Williams, and I’m a personal trainer from Santa Monica, CA. I grew up in a very athletic family, which led me to a successful collegiate football career and my profession in fitness. As a personal trainer I consider myself a guide and motivator to my clients, and my love for training has grown into a love for running.
Growing up I was always actively involved in various sports (Basketball, Football, Wrestling etc.) and running was always apart of my routine because of the conditioning benefits. Now that I’m in the fitness realm, I view running as something fundamental that everyone can do within their own capacity. Which is why, I still run as part of my training routine till this day.
“This ensures my foundation is sound, and I don’t suffer the typical injuries that runners face.”
Ideally I like to just wake up, get dressed, lace up my shoes, throw on my Jaybird X3 headphones, and just go. Later in the afternoon or evening is when I incorporate my strength/resistance training. With my athletic background I definitely still take a certain level of enjoyment and pride in retaining a certain level of relative strength, but I genuinely believe my strength as a runner is literally… my strength. Even when I take “time off” from running on the road, I’m retooling my body in the gym. I’m lifting heavy, and incorporating stability and mobility work as well for when I do have a race or an event coming up. This ensures my foundation is sound, and I don’t suffer the typical injuries that runners face.
“It’s one thing to complete a race and it’s another to finish strong and still be physically healthy afterwards.”
Running has helped me discover a lot about myself, not just physically but mentally & spiritually as well. When it comes to being in the gym vs. running on the road, it’s almost two different personalities so to speak. If you could hear my music in the gym, I listen to stuff that pumps me up with heavy bass and hard, fast-tempo beats. When I’m on the road I prefer smoother, more mellow sounds to keep my heart rate steady and not overly excited, so I can maintain a certain pace. I’m very much aware I’m not the stereotypical runner and it’s not easy at all. There’s a point in every run where I’m mentally fighting with myself to stop or slow down because my body is getting close to its limit, but that’s when mental toughness comes into play and you push to finish that last mile or that last lap around the track. Every person can do amazing and incredible things, it’s just a matter of making your mind up and then executing! Check out my playlist below of some tracks that help me push my limits.
We also want to hear your stories. Share your motivation for running in a short story and hashtag #whyirunjaybird on Instagram for a chance to win weekly prizes including earbuds and a chance to be featured on our social channels. We’re inspired by every type of runner, so don’t hesitate to share your passion with us. To the parent that wakes up early before sending their kids off to school, the beginner seeking to finish their first 5k, and the marathoner looking to set a new PR, your passion inspires more people than you’ll ever know. Share your stories with us and #runwild. Find more info about the This Is Why I Run series here.
Keep in touch with Justin!
My name is Jeff Rizzo and I like to make videos online. My life 100% revolves around having fun, whether that’s working out, playing sports, and/or just bothering everyone in the office. I live in Sacramento, CA and run a small business called RIZKNOWS, which is a media company that produces content about consumer products. We have a website, mobile app, and a few decently popular social channels (200k+ subscribers).
Summer is my favorite time of the year…I like it even more than Christmastime! In Sacramento it gets blisteringly hot in the summer, regularly reaching 100° F for several days in a row. A lot of people don’t like this, but I’m all about it. I like feeling the sun on my back. I love the lake and water sports. I love dripping sweat all over the place. It’s fun. And with that, here are my favorite summer activities that I won’t do without my Jaybird X3s.
“I love dripping sweat all over the place.”
I have a fairly average road bike, but I love taking it out on Fridays (into the office) or Sundays. Sacramento has some of the best bike trails in the world. We have around 30 miles of nearly unbroken bike trails that follow a beautiful river down from the foothills to the city. It really is a special ride. Sometimes I can coax my buddies into a bike ride, but most of the time it’s just me, shirt off, blazing trail. I like to listen to country, classic rock, and hip-hop, mostly because the music helps distract me and can help with the rhythm of cycling. I also binge listen to podcasts, but those are primarily political in nature or Barstool Sports, so I’ll spare you the details.
I used to run a lot more, but I’m trying to get these dang shin splints under control, so I’m out-of-shape by my standards. Still, I love to run in the summer, regardless of the time of day. I typically run in my neighborhood, but I honestly I prefer trail running. Auburn, which is just a short drive away, has world-class, gorgeous trails which are a lot more relaxing than the streets of Sacramento. And I don’t just like proper running, I like to switch things up and run perhaps 100 meters then sprint 25 meters and so on. Of course, that would be a much shorter run, but I get bored quickly, so I have to invent new workouts. It’s all about sweating profusely, so I don’t really care how I get there as long as I feel great afterwards.
“I get bored quickly, so I have to invent new workouts.”
I belong to two gyms, and I have a home gym, but in the summer time I find myself bringing the weights outside more than anything. It’s so nice to workout outside, and I can’t deny that I also love the weird looks from my neighbors. Actually, I just moved and my outdoor workouts have enabled me to meet more of my neighbors. It’s pretty neat. They want to workout; they want the nasty hand blisters; and they also want to be around my beautiful Cal Bears flag. Bottom line: heavy weights are fun.
There’s something oddly addicting about projects at home, and I regularly listen to music on my X3s as I work. It relaxes me and also makes my many power tools just a little quieter (not for my neighbors though!). I like to start really early in the morning. Whether it’s fixing gutters, installing ceiling fans, or planting a new tree, I just really like making home improvements, and I love yard work. I typically mess things up four times and get it right on the fifth; I’m actually surprised that I haven’t been electrocuted yet. And I know what you’re thinking: “what an all American man! He bikes, runs, weight trains, and even hits the TV until it starts working again!”. I also own Carhartt overalls, so think about that.
I hardly ever relax, but I occasionally—particular in the summer—like to get up early, listen to music and just sit outside. It’s a great way to start the day. I’ll usually throw on some Jack Johnson and sip my decaf coffee. Here’s my playlist of the week:
Running a half-marathon is a worthy goal, and maybe it’s a goal you set for yourself at the beginning of the year.
Have you stayed true to that enthusiasm? Maybe you’ve already given up on the idea of training. After all, you’ve haven’t run a mile since high school P.E. class.
How could anyone who doesn’t run ever be ready for a half-marathon?
The thought of running 13.1 miles non-stop is intimidating even for the casual runner. If you think that attaining your goal of running a half-marathon is out of the picture because of your lack of fitness and running, think again.
You can train to run a half-marathon, no matter your current fitness level or running ability. Here’s how:
The Walk-Run Technique
When training, it can be tempting to go all-in immediately. This misconception about training is also what discourages people from starting to train.
The problem with doing too much too soon is that you’re more likely to get injured.
You’ll sabotage your training because forcing yourself to run more than you can handle can make you hate running.
Even if you’ve never run a mile, there are many half-marathon training programs available that promise to get you ready from 8 weeks to 20 weeks.
The key is to go at your own speed and gradually progress. We repeat, go at your own speed.
A common denominator for most of the half-marathon training programs is the blending of walking and running. Walking a few minutes followed by running a few minutes back to running for an hour is a great way to get started on your half-marathon training. The time, speed and frequency of the walking and running will vary depending on your training plan, your fitness level, and how far away your half-marathon is.
The further into your training, the longer the running intervals will become. A walking-running technique eases you into training, makes it doable and more enjoyable, and lowers your risk of injury.
How can activities like swimming, cycling and yoga help you in your half-marathon training? You may think that training for a half-marathon means putting the miles on your feet. It’s true that when you run and walk, you exercise and strengthen important muscles in your legs that are necessary to finish a half-marathon.
The repeated wear on the joints in your legs, however, can cause them to weaken and be more prone to injury, which will ultimately sideline your training.
This is where cross-training comes in.
When you do a different form of exercise, you’re strengthening other muscles that can help relieve the stress on your leg muscles and joints.
Cross training also gives your body a much-needed curveball by doing an activity that is not routine. Regularly throwing your body surprises helps you overcome the infamous “plateau” of training where you’re no longer progressing.
Tune-In to Your Body
Throughout your training, especially in the beginning, it is important to listen to your body. Pain and discomfort are signs that you’re pushing your body too hard and you’re not allowing your body to properly recover.
Finishing a half-marathon is doable even if running isn’t currently a part of your fitness routine.
Your half-marathon training can be more enjoyable with good workout music. At Jaybird, our wireless buds offer superior quality sound which will make your training go faster.
For more information about our earbuds, contact us at Jaybird today.
For a lot of people, there is an inherent rhythm in running. When they “get into the groove” it feels like they could just keep going from one end of the city to the other. Their breathing and their cadence are in complete control, and they thrive on pushing themselves a little faster or a little further each run.
For many other people, though, it’s never quite that simple. It can be hard to remain fully focused for an entire run, and when the stress on the knees, ankles, and lungs starts to build, it only gets more difficult.
A lot of runners turn to music to help them find that “groove.” (Yes, that was a cheesy pun just there, but it couldn’t be helped.) The constant rhythm of a favorite song can help people focus on the run, keep a steady pace, and get past the fatigue they might otherwise feel.
It’s not as simple as putting in the earbuds and randomly playing any old song from your collection, though.
No, to really add rhythm to your run, you’re going to have to be a little more selective.
Getting in Sync
The key to augmenting your run with music is synchronization. The rhythm of the music and the rhythm of your stride should be tied closely together.
In other words, you don’t really want to start your run with the fastest, hardest-pounding music on your playlist. Instead, go for something with more of a mid-range tempo so you can start off easy and build to a faster pace.
Then, when you reach that point in the run where you really start to struggle, you can switch to the faster songs on your playlist. Maybe some techno. Maybe some dance music. Maybe hard rock. Whatever really gets your energy going.
Finally, as you start to reach the end of your run, switch back to something a little slower. You can even take advantage of some nice, relaxing tunes to help wind down and get ready for recovery.
What is a Good Cadence?
Your cadence (the number of steps you take in a minute) has a huge impact on how you run and how you feel when you run. Speeding up your cadence, for example, can have an effect on how your muscles and joints perform.
The general belief is that a 170 to 180 steps per minute is a pretty good cadence, and music can make it easier to change your cadence up or down, based on your personal goals until you reach that level. Eventually, those small changes can become part of your natural movement.
Listen to Your Body’s Rhythms
Everyone approaches running and exercise a little differently, and the music that works for one person may not fit on the playlist for someone else.
Pay attention to how you run. At what point do you start to face those mental blocks that tell you to give up and be done. At what point do you start winding down?
You’re the best person to know when and where you run out of energy or start to get distracted, disinterested, or discouraged, and you can plan your playlist accordingly. These are the times when you can switch to songs with a higher BPM to motivate yourself to go further.
Rhythm and Pace Can Make a Better Run
Running experts say that by staying aware of your pace, you will get more endurance benefits and be able to stay out longer and push yourself to the end of your run.
Whether you’re a causal runner or trying to up your game and take on a new distance run, pacing can really be important. Start too fast, and you’ll wear out. End the run with too much energy left over, and you won’t feel satisfied.
The right music can help you keep the rhythm of your run, so you can ease in at the beginning, really step it up mid run, and finally wind down near the end (but still pushing yourself to use up everything you’ve got).
This is especially important in those longer runs where it’s easy to zone out and lose track of how you’re doing. A runner might suddenly realize that they could have been going at a faster pace for that last five minutes, or that they’ve burned themselves out by going too fast, too soon.
Music is a great aid to keeping a steady pace. Find the right songs with the right beats per minute for each part of your run and soon you may start to improve endurance, sharpen your focus, and get more out of each run.
Building up your endurance so you can push yourself a little further or a little faster is a common goal among runners. There are some effective ways to reach these higher levels of stamina, and many of them go far beyond the standard “just keep running a little further every day” idea.
The thing is, like many exercises, it’s important to working on increasing your running endurance while minimizing the risk of injuries. If you end up running too far or too fast before your body is ready for it, you could end up doing more harm than good.
So, what’s the trick? How can you strike this balance of pushing yourself without harming yourself?
Try to incorporate some of these suggestions and see how they affect your run.
Never Forget Strength Training
Strength training is a major component of the endurance equation, even though many runners focus strictly on cardio. A cardio-only workout may not be able to get you to the levels you’d like to reach, and may even lead to chronic aches and pains throughout the body.
There have even been some studies that show how strength and endurance training have a beneficial effect on the running economy. Most notably, the increased leg muscles help absorb the impact of your stride, and with more strength you can propel yourself further with every step.
On top of that, the right strength training can help improve oxygen uptake, increase coordination, and help you run more efficiently.
What kind of strength training will help your run? Generally speaking, anything involves compound movements – exercises that activate more than one joint. This could be anything from squats and lunges to pushups and deadlifts.
Just 10 minutes of strength training after every run can make a huge difference. This is a key factor for increased endurance right here. Do your strength training right after your run. Not before, and not on alternate days. If you work out before the run, you might use up all the glycogen stores in your muscles, making it harder to complete your run. If you alternate strength training and cardio days, you may end up building muscle rather than endurance.
Consistency is the foundation of running endurance. And it’s not just about running every day, but always pushing yourself a little further.
And when we say a little further, we mean it. A gradual increase in mileage will help your body adapt and increase its stamina. However, you need to make sure you’re doing enough of the strength training mentioned above to handle even these gradual increases in distance.
It’s okay to take some time between distance increases. You don’t want to force yourself to do something you’re not ready for, but you do want to keep at it until you can reach your next milestone.
… But Not Routine
A routine can be the enemy of endurance. If you keep doing the exact same thing every day, your body is going to adapt and become comfortable at that level.
Switching up your workouts, especially the strength training aspects, will prevent your body from plateauing. Move your muscles in different ways. It’s more motivating, more invigorating, and more efficient.
Find Your Rhythm
Do you ever feel your energy increase when you’re listening to your favorite music? There’s a reason for that. We know that music helps improve a runner’s cadence and builds positive associations with working out, but now we even have some studies that suggest that certain types of music can increase exercise endurance by 15%.
There’s just something about putting in the earbuds and blocking out the distractions that makes it easier for many runners to find those hidden reserves of energy and get a little more out of every run.
The Best Uphill Battle Ever
There’s nothing quite like a big hill for building running endurance. Sure, it looks a little daunting. Yes, running uphill goes against most of our natural inclinations. (“Inclinations.” Get it? These are the jokes, friends.) But it really is a great way to develop the muscles you need for better endurance.
Begin by walking up the hill. Then, as you feel your calf muscles start to compensate and grow stronger, you can switch to jogging the hill. Eventually, you’ll be running up this supposedly insurmountable hill with stronger lungs and legs and feeling great when you reach the top.
(Go ahead, hum the Rocky theme song and pump your fists in the air. Trust me, you’ll want to.)
The Running Endurance Equation
Like most equations, this one needs to be balanced. Too much weight on one side could throw everything else out of order. When you want to start increasing your endurance, make sure you’re getting enough cardio, strength training, variety, and rhythm to gradually and safely take your next run a little longer and a little faster.
A lot of us really want to work out more. Then again, a lot of us would be happy if we could start working out at all.
Motivation is tough. We know that working out will be good for us. We know that it will make us healthier and give us more energy, but it’s just so easy to “let it slide” one more day. (And then “one more day” turns into “one more week” and so on.)
Workouts are hard. They’re supposed to be. And that means that any speedbumps along the way can quickly derail our motivation.
There are a lot of things that can hold you back (including yourself), but a few simple workout motivation hacks can keep you right on track.
Use Positive Thinking AND Positive Feeling
We often hear the words “positive thinking” associated with any discussion of motivation, but the truth is that simply knowing that workouts are good for you and knowing that you want to be more active isn’t enough to get motivated.
Motivation is fueled by your feelings and emotions.
There was a great article in TIME Magazine that talked about this, and it can be summarized in one quote: “We need to think to plan but we need to feel to act.”
Of course, that doesn’t mean you can just decide to feel positive about your workout. There are too many outside factors that can impact how we’re feeling at any given time, and if we’ve got too much on our plate, putting us in a bad mood, we’re far more likely to procrastinate the next workout.
But we all have some things that put us in a better mood and let us block out all the negativity. And this motivational hack requires us to hang on tightly to those things.
We all have a much better chance of avoiding procrastination by planning ahead (positive thinking) and finding ways to improve your mood (positive feeling).
And what do you get when positive feeling and thinking come together?
And optimism is the foundation of motivation. Optimism is confidence that you will succeed because you’ve planned for it and you feel the results will be worth it.
Visualize Your Obstacles
Everyone faces different challenges, so, no matter how much we talk about positive thinking and planning, it’s important to remember that no plan turns out exactly like we imagined.
Sometimes, it just feels like something always – always – gets in our way.
If it happens once, it’s probably not a big deal. Twice… now you might start to feel your motivation slip. Three times, and most of us can assume we’ll be paying for a gym membership that won’t get used until next January.
The answer is to visualize your obstacles right along with your goals. Imagine all the things that could get in your way. Then, imagine how you will ignore/overcome/defeat each and every one of them. Then, when they happen, you’ll know exactly what to do.
Reward Yourself for Real
It’s easy to say that better health, more energy, and a better outlook on life are your rewards for sticking to a workout routine.
But for a lot of us, that is a little too intangible and way too far in the future.
A “real” reward is more tangible and more immediate.
Go to that movie, enjoy that amazing (and healthy) smoothie, buy that special thing you’ve been saving for. Give yourself something nice because you deserve it for this accomplishment.
Eventually, as our minds and bodies adjust to the workout routine, you’ll start to be more motivated by internal rewards – those endorphins that release when you complete a workout or push yourself to the next level. That’s the point when the workout itself becomes the reward.
Until then, it’s the external rewards that will increase your motivation levels.
Sometimes, one of the most effective forms of motivation is a little friendly peer pressure.
Yes, you’ve been told how bad peer pressure is, but you’re a little older now. You know how to have fun and where to draw the line.
So, use this competitive spirit to stay motivated. There are a couple benefits to this strategy.
One, you’ll be trying to accomplish your workout goals with others – which always makes it easier to stay motivated.
Two, the thought of the other people working out while you’re still curled up in bed is often enough to get you up and moving.
A little give and take, keeping things a little competitive, may be all you need to stick with your routine.
Use the Right Soundtrack
We’ve talked about the importance of using the right music to improve your run, but the same can be said for almost any kind of workout.
The right music at the right tempo can improve your overall enjoyment of the workout, reduce exertion levels, and make the time pass more quickly. That means your workout will be something you look forward to instead of something you’re forcing yourself to do.
Put Something on the Line
What will really happen if you don’t stick with your routine? For most people, the answer is “not much.” You’ll have to admit to your friends that you gave up, but beyond that, there isn’t much of a penalty.
On the other hand, if you give a friend $100 and tell them they can keep it if you don’t go to the gym at least 3 times a week, now you actually have something to lose.
When you have something very tangible to lose, you’ll be more motivated to see it through to the end.
Getting motivated to workout isn’t always easy, but it is always possible. You just need a good plan and a little optimism, and soon you’ll be maintaining your ideal workout program.
Every year, on New Year’s Day, a large chunk of the population takes the opportunity to make some resolutions for the next 12 months.
Unfortunately, only a small percentage ever keep at it throughout the whole year. In fact, as much as 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February.
But you don’t have to be part of that statistic.
You can come at 2017 with a positive attitude and a solid plan and you’ll finish the year as a better, faster runner.
Not Just Goals, but Achievements
When your goal is to “start running tomorrow,” or to “be a better runner,” you’re probably not being specific enough in your goals. What you’re doing is declaring a great intention, but that’s not really what goals are about.
You can set some really effective running goals by defining what you want to achieve.
That’s the key. Goals and achievements work hand in hand. It’s really hard to have one without the other. So, let’s change the question to: what do you want to achieve this year? Will you:
- Run your first half marathon?
- Run your first full marathon?
- Run on specific days of the week, every week?
- Heal from previous injuries and start running again?
- Improve your running times?
- Run further than ever before?
- Begin cross-training several times a week?
- Introduce someone else to running?
These are just a few suggestions, but note how each has a clear achievement built into it. When you run your first half marathon, you’ll know your goals have paid off.
Tell the World
If “achievement” is the first element of a good resolution, then “accountability” is the second.
They say you should write down your goals to show that you’re serious about them. But, frankly, if you write it down without telling anyone, what’s to stop you from throwing it away?
If, on the other hand, you post your resolution to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and just about every other social media platform, and then you tell your friends and family members what you intend to accomplish, things will change. You’ve gotten others involved, now, and they’re going to want updates on your progress.
Find the Right Incentive
Do you react better to encouragement or pressure? To kind words or serious competition?
If you tell the world about your resolutions, it’s because you expect a response. So, what kind of reaction will help you the most? Some people need encouragement. Others need a challenge. (There’s no way you’re going to let that guy run a 5k before you do…)
So, even if you don’t tell everyone about your running, at least tell the people who will provide the best running incentives.
Always have the right gear for the right job. While you don’t necessarily need the top-of-the-line/most-expensive-thing-in-the-store level of equipment, you should have some quality, reliable gear for every run. Plus, this will eliminate one potential excuse for missing your run for the day.
Before you go out the door for your first run of the year, double check that your shoes are in good shape and not going to cause discomfort or injury. Clothes should be durable and appropriate for the weather. Bluetooth earbuds need to be fully charged so your music, podcasts, or audiobooks don’t cut out in the middle of the run.
Give Yourself a Break
Sometimes we fail. We can do everything right, we can have the best intentions, and sometimes life just gets in the way. The important thing is to understand that this happens to everyone and realize that one failure, one miss, one slip doesn’t have to keep you down.
It happens to all of us, so don’t give up, go easy on yourself, and learn how you can turn this experience to your benefit.
What is accomplishment without reward?
This is how you cultivate optimism. Focus on your accomplishments and the positive moments of every run. More importantly, reward yourself when you reach important milestones.
Final Tips to Remember
January comes and January goes, and for a huge percentage of goal setters, so do all those good intentions.
If you really want to stick to your running resolutions in 2017, consider some of these tips:
Find the fun – If running starts feeling like work, you’ll burn out on it much faster. To keep things fun, try:
- Running with others (also good for accountability)
- Signing up for a race or fun run
- Take a break on occasion to avoid mental and physical burnout
- Running in new places (not just in another gym, but someplace you have to travel to)
- Being an amateur coach and helping someone else enjoy a run
Identify your personal road blocks
– Is it the cold weather? Is it the hot weather? Is it trying to wake up early enough in the morning? Is it a favorite show that comes on in the evenings?
When you know what is likely to get in your way, you’ll be able to find a way around it.
Visualize your success
– Imagine yourself completing your next run. Visualize what it feels like to complete a half marathon. See yourself waking up early enough to run every morning.
Create the perfect playlist
– Music can do a lot to make your run a lot more fun and, in some cases, a lot more effective.
When Resolution Becomes Routine
The best resolutions are often the hardest to achieve, and most running goals fit right into that category. The good news is that while they may be hard, studies have shown that if you can keep at it for six months, you’re 10x more likely to follow through with it to the end of the year.
Find what powers your passion for running, and let that passion fuel your goals throughout the year.
We have all heard that voice.
It usually starts out as a whisper at the beginning of a tough workout, trying politely to negotiate terms or retreat all together. It gets frustrated at the end of the warmup when it realizes it is being ignored. Its tone becomes stern and volume increases to a yell as you take up the pace or load up the barbell.
Your muscles have no idea what is in store for them, but the voice in your head knows the ensuing perils of things to come. It begs: “We have had a long day,” “It’s not worth it,” or “What’s it all for?” It wants to throw in the towel, go home, and take a nap.
It usually isn’t hard to get past the first set of the session, whether it be smashing weights, cranking the pedals, or chasing pavement. But this is the critical time in the workout. Quitters listen to the voice and give in; champions know it’s going to hurt and drown the voice out.
The battle continues as your heart pumps faster and sweaty fingers curl into fists. Your nostrils flair open, drawing in more air, and sweat drips from furrowed brows.
You’ve angered this voice that sits in silence most of the day, content with the comfort zone of normal activities. It thinks it knows best, and it now demands concession.
But it doesn’t know best. You know this deep down, and you know the only way to achieve your goals is to squelch the screaming from the voice and ignore its commands to slow down or to leave that 2.5 plate off the bar.
Setting these goals was easy when the voice was quiet, or asleep, or speaking to someone else; pushing through requires focus and passion, but now the voice’s white flag waves viciously as you can almost hear the tearing of hamstring sinews at the bottom of a heavy squat.
Starting the second lap of your last 1600 your vision blurs and your eyes roll to the back of your skull. You can almost see the thought of quitting go by the front of your brain.
You’ve been there before and it doesn’t get easier, but ignoring this voice is an essential part of getting better and faster. Your passion is a critical silencer of this voice that begs you to stay in your comfort zone, and the right tools to power your passion makes the silencing a little easier.
Sometimes the voice of complacency grabs a hold of your earlobe and loudly screams straight down into you, but the X2’s always seem to yell: “Keep going!” a little louder.