New Year, Still You
N‘ ew Year, New You’ declare the health and beauty industries each year as January approaches, and we buy in. There’s nothing wrong with a little wistful self-hoodwinking during the holidays. For many of us, it’s about the only time of year to find a few more hours to relax, indulge and envision our ideal selves come the new year, fit and fast as we cross the finish line in that spring race we’ll definitely sign up for. But in the meantime, that pumpkin pie isn’t going to eat itself and the only marathon you’re signed up for takes place on Netf lix.
Yet it’s still no surprise when a 2015 Ipsos poll reveals that, of Canadians who resolve to improve their health and fitness each year, over 70 per cent won’t succeed.
It seems we’re great visionaries, but we stumble in execution. So why is that? A key factor in closing the gap between wanting to achieve our goals, and summoning the motivation to actually do it, may lie in our self-efficacy, i.e., a firm conviction in one’s ability to achieve goals, according to a series of studies from the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania in 2002. Indeed, these studies reveal that firmly held beliefs in one’s own ‘sticktoitiveness’ are born not from the power of magical couch-thinking, but with a solid plan from the outset, with goals broken down into a series of incremental, achievable wins. The good news is that someone has likely already done the heavy lifting to craft your ‘New You’ plan for 2019, especially if that new you involves running, with myriad race training plans from 5k through to the mighty ultra, readily available online and in bookstores.
So, as January looms, take the time to find a plan that works for you. Believing in yourself turns from a trite phrase to a powerful motivator with a solid roadmap to guide you. And we’re here to help you stay motivated and confident in achieving your running and health goals in this issue, with winter-specific speed training tips from Team Canada runner, Kate Van Buskirk. Dr. Brittany Moran also provides the latest strength exercises and Dr. Greg Wells shares why cross-training is so vital to ensuring running is a lifelong endeavour via multisport athlete Emma Dolphin.
And given the February blahs aren’t far behind, we’ve also included ample inspiration to run throughout winter (thermometer, be damned!) with Rhiannon Russell’s feature on the profound physical and mental benefits of putting one foot in front of the other (p. 46). Read also about legendary track coach John Fitzgerald’s outsized positive impact on the lives of so many Canadian elite runners, on the track and off (p.52). Then there’s the elusive Barefoot Runner of Côte Saint-Luc who’s reemergence each year on the streets of this Montreal neighbourhood serves as a reminder that warmer weather is on its way (p. 42).
To strength in body and mind in 2019.