This Week: Preparing for 2012

Well everybody, we made it through another one.  As we all go about regaining our bearings after the usual December frenzy of shopping, visiting, and party-going, it’s time to start thinking about 2012.

After all, this is a fitness blog and with a new year right around the corner, plenty of us are thinking about how we can treat ourselves a little better this time around.  (And let’s not forget all of our New Year’s rock stars who finished their program last week or are entering their final week right now.)

So this week we’ll be talking a little bit about what you can do to make 2012 your most successful training year ever.  Today, since we’ve still got a week left before this year is officially put to bed, here are five things that you can do in the next five days to set yourself up for success in January and beyond.

1.  Gear up.  The first of the year has a certain psychological effect.  Sure, it’s just another day, but on the other hand, there’s something inspiring about a fresh start.  Build on that momentum by taking this as an opportunity to pick up any new running gear you’ve been needing.  Even if it’s as simple as grabbing a new lucky hat or replacing some aging running shoes, new equipment can be a good pick-me-up this time of year.

2.  Expand your playlist.  Have some iTunes cards in your stocking this holiday?  Even if you didn’t, now’s a great time to freshen your music selection with some new, motivating tracks.  You can pretty much transform your workout for the cost of a few cups of coffee, so don’t be afraid to spend a couple of bucks on yourself this week.  A new soundtrack can change your whole workout.

3.  Check the calendar.  Nothing can motivate your 2012 training quite like having a race or two on the horizon.  Early registration is usually a bargain and the sooner you make the decision to participate, the better you’ll be able to prepare.  Click here for an earlier post on the topic and for a link to a useful online race-finder.  

4.  Begin Bootcamp.  Runners run.  But serious runners know that to be at their strongest and fastest, just pounding the pavement isn’t going to be enough.  For an accessible, no-nonsense introduction to circuit training appropriate for users at any level, check out our Bootcamp app at www.bootcampapp.com.  These are exercises that will help you build strength, increase speed, and prevent injury.  They’ll also give you some great go-to workouts for days that winter weather keeps you penned up inside.  Give it a try.

5.  Pick a program.  If you aren’t in the middle of a training plan right now, consider choosing a program and working through it starting this January.  If you are just finishing our New Year’s push with Ease into 5K, now might be the time to set your sights on a longer distance.  If you didn’t, the new year is a perfect time to get out there and start a plan.  We’ve got apps for pretty much any occasion — check them out on our website!

We hope you’re all looking forward to the new year as much as we are.  Stay tuned for more tips and ideas on how to hit the ground running in January!

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