Setting a goal of losing 50 pounds is, for me, setting myself up for failure. However, setting up smaller goals, such as working out X days per week or focusing on eating more whole foods and less junk, helped me lose 30 pounds in 2015.
This year, I have a few things that I want to work on, all of which build on the work I did last year.
Focus on rest and recovery. I've been feeling pretty tired and worn down lately, and I've starting having random aches and pains after workouts, especially after long runs. Though I am thrilled with the progress I made, I recently realized that I may have pushed myself a little too hard in 2015. I've basically been training non stop, jumping straight into a new training program as soon as completing a goal race. On top of this, I've never been a good sleeper, and I became pretty lazy about stretching and foam rolling in recent months. I don't want to end up injured or sick, so I'm going to take rest and recovery just as seriously as I take training.
- I will give myself a real rest day once a week.
- I will start and maintain a regular sleep schedule by having a set bed time (no more Netflix marathons until 3am) and wake up time.
- I will stretch and foam roll after every workout.
- I will allow myself a few weeks of recovery after each big goal race instead of jumping straight into training again.
Continue working on nutrition. I did much better in 2015 when it comes to food. I could, however, do even more, as I'm still falling into the junk food and take out trap due to poor advanced planning. I also tend to going overboard on special occasions and still have the occasional problem with portion control. There are several things I plan to do to help set myself up for a successful 2016 when it comes to nutrition:
- I will limit my restaurant purchases to no more than one meal out per week.
- I will spend at least one day each week preparing and packaging healthy meals for the week so that I will have home cooked meals in the refrigerator that are ready to grab and go for work lunches.
- I will immediately put away leftovers so there is less temptation to go back for seconds (or thirds or fourths).
- I will choose my splurges more carefully. Would I rather have popcorn at the movie or have dessert after dinner? I won't be having both any longer, but will instead be choosing which I desire more and will find more satisfying.
Remember the joy of running. I focused so much on training and running races in 2015 that I often forgot about the joy that running can bring.
- I will run because I want to and not because I feel that I have to. If I wake up one day and truly don't want to run, then I will give myself a break and find something else to do that day. I don't want running to feel like a chore.
- I will unplug and run without technology at least once a week. No music to distract me. No GPS watch to obsessively track pace/distance.
- I will continue running with others. I've come to really look forward to Chick's Night at Fleet Feet. Although I still prefer running solo and being able to go at my own pace, I've come to rely on group runs every now and then as a source of camaraderie, inspiration, and motivation.