New Year, Still You

Canadian Running - - EDITORIAL - Dave Car­pen­ter, Manag­ing Ed­i­tor @Cana­di­anRun­ning

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.

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