TORONTO. January 15th. Digital Champion, Jessica Kuepfer is an athlete racing out of Waterloo, ON. She favors the ultra-marathon distance, but is always up for a challenge and is thrilled to be racing the Toronto Yonge Street 10K this year. Connect with Jessica on Twitter @lacesandlattes and follow her training on her website: www.lacesandlattes.com.
Why Running Is The Only Resolution You Need To Make For 2014. By Jessica Kuepfer
When I started running in high school, I thought I was picking up an exercise to make sure I went outside during exam period, but I had no idea I was beginning something that would make me a better person.
As we head into 2014, it can be overwhelming to think through everything you want to accomplish over the next 365 days, so I have an idea for you – just run.
Why make it so simple?
For me, running captures the essence of most resolutions such as spending time with loved ones, weight control and time management.
1. Organization. At the end of every year, I sit down to plan my race schedule for the upcoming year. It can feel as if I am fitting a puzzle together, but it helps me to be mindful of my vacation times, my goals and what type of training I am planning on doing.
2. Creating measurable goals. Setting goals for yourself can be intimidating, especially if you feel as if there is no way to measure your progression. What I love about running is that training runs and race times are an unbiased way to measure your progression and feel proud of your accomplishments.
3. Meeting deadlines. The second that you click the sign up button on your race entry, you are committed to the race. Having the deadline will help you manage the time you have before the big day and will help you prepare. This exercise has helped me to be more accomplished in meeting deadlines in other areas of my life.
4. Learning self-control. Running epitomizes self-control for me. I find I am more mindful of how late I stay up, because I know I need my sleep to train and recover well. I am careful about my intake and what I eat because I know that running lighter means running faster. It also helps me to avoid wasting time doing mindless things, as I need to get my training in for races.
5. Helps you to see the big picture. As I have made running a larger part of my life, I have expanded my goal setting and I create a pictorial version of my goals at the beginning of the year, or as many call it, The Vision Board. I hang it above my race calendar so I see it every day and it motivates me to keep perspective as I strive for my goals.
6. Making friends. Picking out a race is only the beginning. Depending on the race that you chose, there are training groups available to help you prepare for the race and you can meet a group of motivating and like-minded people to help you reach your goals.
7. Increase confidence. The thing is, the more you run, the more races you do and the more goals that you achieve in running, the more confident you become in your ability both as an athlete and person. Running has been one of the greatest boosts to my sense of purpose, well being and vision over the past number of years.
8. Diversify your workout plan. Here’s a fact for you – good runners do not just run. You need a host of other activities to make sure that you meet your training goals and avoid injury. Yoga is perfect for flexibility, weight training is vital for strengthening and swimming and cycling are fabulous for cross training. Running opens doors to other activities to make you a stronger athlete.
9. Give back to others. Over the years of racing, I have been privileged to team up with charities to raise money for important causes. The beautiful part of the situation is that you can do something you love by racing for someone in need. All the Canada Running Series races offer charity challenges that give participants as an opportunity to give back.
10.Spend more time outdoors. In a population that spends most of their time indoors, a bit of fresh air and vitamin D can do wonders for your health and sense of well being. Training runs for races are a great way to get you moving outside.
Whether you are racing or just training this year, rest assured that your efforts will help you to be the best person you can be in 2014.
What are your resolutions for 2014? Share them on twitter with @lacesandlattes using the hashtag #TYS10K.