Whether or not you or someone you know is actually going back to school, this is back-to-school season. It’s a moment in the year when things are starting to draw to a close but there’s still time to make meaningful changes, which makes September a great month for a running reset. Think of it as an opportunity to reflect on your New Year’s resolutions as well as your summer race season — if you’ve seriously slacked, this is a great point in the year to refocus.
Let’s look at some of those old back-to-school routines, and think about how we can shift them to serve our running purposes!
1. GET NEW SUPPLIES
Who didn’t love a brand-new binder, pack of pens and a few stylish outfits? (I still do.) Keep the tradition alive by replacing worn out running gear with a fresh batch. Even better, there are often sales on summer products like running shorts and sports bras to take advantage of. We’re also about to get into cooler weather, so make sure your fall and winter run gear still fits well and is in good condition.
2. EXCEL IN GYM CLASS
Reignite your love of cross-training so you’re not just running. Remember how class always started with a warmup, and you switched activities every couple of weeks? Think about that for the fall and try some new cross-training, whether that means hitting a yoga or strength-training class, or even hopping on the bike once a week to work other muscles.
READ MORE > THE INS AND OUTS OF RUNNING FORM
3. ORGANIZE YOUR AGENDA
I always had a goal of being perfectly organized — all homework assignments, reports and tests logged neatly in a perfect agenda, so I never missed a due date. For your running resolution, this translates to having a schedule with your goal races, and the training you need to do pencilled in. You might only have a loose training plan, but listing your ideal week of training can help you stick to a schedule so you’re never hitting Sunday and realizing you have 24 hours to log the 20 miles you hoped to get in this week.
4. BE ON TIME
Remember school bells telling us when class is over? If only we had a school bell in life to tell us when to move on to the next thing. But we can translate that to our runs. Set an alarm on your phone, have your run bag on hand with shorts, a top and shoes ready — and set the goal to not be late for your run dates, even if your ‘date’ is just between you and the pavement.
5. REINVENT YOURSELF
Coming off summer and into a new school year always felt like an opportunity to start fresh. Whether you didn’t meet your goals for a key race this summer, lose the 5 pounds you vowed to lose or get in as many miles as you wanted to, whatever happened in the past with your running doesn’t need to define you as a runner today or in the future. Forget about those intervals that didn’t go as well as you’d hoped, and instead, look forward to an awesome upcoming running season.
GEAR UP FOR YOUR NEXT RUN