AS THE CALENDAR PAGE flipped to 1 January last month, it’s probably no surprise that many South Africans set a New Year’s resolution. Many of these post-holiday promises may have included being more active in the coming year – to move more, sit less, take the stairs in lieu of the lift, and maybe even sign up for a race.
You, on the other hand, probably won’t feel that gravitational pull to pledge more movement. I mean, you’re already logging plenty kays each week, right? You’re active most days – if not every day. Sure, increased fitness is the most common resolution among the general population, but doesn’t that mean that we, as highly motivated runners, can skip this old tradition? When it comes to fitness, we’ve already proven that we’re up to the task.
But if you look at the science, the answer is clear: runners can and do benefit from setting a New Year’s resolution. The trick is doing it the right way.
While we all daydream about breaking the tape, the truth is that very few of you reading this will ever finish on the podium. (Sorry, just being honest.) Does that mean we should all give up? No way. But setting a goal that is challenging yet attainable can actually improve your performance along the way, suggests a study published in the Journal of Economic Psychology. Researchers looked at available US marathon data from 1970 to 2015, and found that younger