Haven’t contemplated your New Year’s resolutions yet? Read on to find some aspirations and pledges to inspire you in the coming year
Photos by Johanna Steppan/Unsplash
“New year, new you.” This is the common phrase that gets thrown around a lot during this time. It’s pretty easy to say “I’ll stick to my New Year’s resolutions,” however, it’s just as common to break your commitment midway into the year. A common reason is a lack of importance or value placed on the given task.
So we’re here to help. Instead of lecturing about how you should stick to your resolution, here are a few New Year’s resolutions that are actually worth pursuing.
Run a sub-1 10K
This is a common goal for a lot of people and it’s rather easy to achieve if you set your mind to it. First things first, you need to be able to run a 10K. After which, you could easily work your way down in terms of time. Events are also on your side since there are races from local organizers that aim towards achieving this goal. Plus, you can also do this on your own if you don’t want to join any races just yet.
If sub-1 is too easy, aim for a sub-45min 10K. This is a lot harder but you can still follow the same approach
Tip: Start training by gradually building towards the target distance using an easy/moderate aerobic effort. After you are able to easily cover the distance, run intervals at your target pace (say 5:50 to 6:00min/km). Start with eight-minute intervals and work your way up to 20-minute segments. Keep rest to a maximum of three minutes.
Level up: If sub-1 is too easy, aim for a sub-45min 10K. This is a lot harder but you can still follow the same approach.
Finish a triathlon
When I first started running over a decade ago, I used to think triathlons were crazy. I couldn’t imagine swimming, biking, and running in rapid succession. However, as I got into the sport, I realized it’s not as difficult as it seems if you know what you’re doing. While it’s still a huge achievement to finish one, proper guidance will make things a lot more bearable. You can even start off by borrowing a bike or using a cheap one if you don’t have one yet.
Tip: Sign up for a sprint distance triathlon if you’re not that confident yet. GoClark.ph has a few newbie-friendly races scattered throughout the year. If swimming isn’t your thing, consider a duathlon, which is just as challenging. I advise you to get the services of a coach especially for swimming, which is very technique-based. Make training a lot easier by making it accessible; get a bike trainer and treadmill if you can but make sure you also practice your handling and heat tolerance
Level up: If you’ve already done a triathlon, sign up for a half-Ironman. There are a lot of local races available but you can also sign up for a race abroad. Just make sure you get a proper bike case and book a sports equipment package if necessary.
Do an open-water swim
An open-water swim (OWS) is a great event to join if you want a more laid-back yet challenging race. The community is very supportive and you get to enjoy one of the Philippines’ best assets: the beaches. While there are podium slots available for each age group or category, merely finishing the event is a great achievement in itself. If you’re ready to bite the bullet, SwimJunkie is a reliable organizer that has races across the Philippines all year long.
An open-water swim is a great event to join if you want a more laid-back yet challenging race
Tip: Practice sighting as this is one of the most essential tools in your OWS arsenal; it’s easy to get lost and disoriented if you’re unable to see where you should be going. Just like running, make sure you gradually build up mileage and incorporate strength and conditioning into your routine. Get the services of a coach if you want to expedite your progress.
Level up: Consider training for a “marathon swim,” which usually reaches 10 kilometers (or more). This is a great achievement as evidenced by the fact that not a lot of people have done this. This takes a lot more dedication than your usual race as hydration and nutrition are more difficult to nail when you’re in the water. Plus, it’s also mentally challenging to stare at pool tiles hours on end during training.
Improve your eating habits
There’s no escaping it. Just like love, the way towards health and well-being is through your stomach. No matter how hard you exercise or do intermittent fasting, you need to give your body the right nutrients in order to take care of it. This holds true whether you’re trying to gain muscle, improve body composition, or address any health-related issues.
This whole “clean eating” thing is easier said than done these days since convenience and cost are given more importance than quality and health. It’s easy to pick up a greasy burger or slice of pizza just about anywhere but it’s difficult to order a nice bowl of salad.
Tip: Avoid eating out when you’re at work; chances are, you’re probably eating somewhere fast and of low quality, or you’re spending a ton on good food. Bring your own meal to work. This not only ensures you’re getting quality portions; you can also control the amount so you don’t over-indulge
Level up: If you have unique goals or requirements, consider signing up for a meal plan service. There are different types available locally: from vegan and high protein to keto. Just make sure you get a plan that suits your calorie requirements.
Whether you have New Year’s resolutions or not, just remember the reason why you’re doing this. It can start off with bragging rights or hype but always try to ground it towards self-improvement, wellness, and commitment. If you want to give yourself the best chance of accomplishing it, build a support group where you could get advice, guidance, and motivation during tough stretches.