20 Ways to Make the 2020s Your Best Running Decade

Molly Hurford
by Molly Hurford
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20 Ways to Make the 2020s Your Best Running Decade

Whether or not this is your first new decade as a runner, you’ll want to kick it off on the right foot. If you didn’t make a resolution but need one, we’ve put together 20 ways to rejuvenate your running. Some are fun, some are fitness- and health-based, and a couple might be a bit goofy, but one thing is certain: You have an opportunity to have the best running decade of your life, and it starts now!

1

RING IN THE NEW YEAR WITH A “20” RUN

Depending on who you are as a runner, that may mean a 20-minute run, a 20-kilometer trek or even a 20-miler on New Year’s Day or sometime in the first month of the decade. Beginning the year on a positive, healthy note can help dictate how you’ll spend the rest of the year. (Just be glad we’re out of the ‘90s.)

2

INVITE A NON-RUNNER FRIEND ON A RUN

Make a plan to run with a newbie on one of your easy days or rest days, and enjoy the process of introducing the wonders of running to your pal.

3

EXPAND YOUR RUNNING WARDROBE

Nothing motivates more than having new gear — whether it’s shoes, some leggings or simple gloves.

4

PLAN A RUNNING SCAVENGER HUNT WITH YOUR FRIENDS

Beat the winter blahs and hide fun runner treats along a trail or just head out with a list of photos to snap while you run.

5

TAKE CARE OF YOUR FEET

You don’t need a pricey pedicure to treat your toes with more respect. A bag of Epsom salts and a basin of warm water will do the trick — especially after particularly chilly, slippery winter runs.

6

SWAP OUT YOUR USUAL GELS AND SPORTS DRINKS

Replace them with apple cider and your favorite holiday treats (hello, sugar cookies) on your next long run.

7

CREATE A NEW PLAYLIST

If you’ve been listening to the same tired playlist for the last 10 months, switch it up for a new playlist with some fresh, different tunes.

8

DONATE TO A CHARITY

The charity of your choice can be anything that matters to you. There’s a charity for everything and all are good causes worth running for.

9

PLAN A THEMED RUN

Everyone loves a theme — whether that means hitting four different bakeries for a cookie run, all wearing the same colors or even costumes. You might feel goofy running down the road dressed like Waldo on a random Tuesday in February, but think of all the joy you’ll spread!

10

DONATE OLD RUNNING GEAR

We’ve all been decluttering this year, so thank your old running gear and give it to someone who might find joy in it. Then revisit number 3, rinse and repeat.

11

PRACTICE YOGA POSES YOU LOVE

Every runner can benefit from the dynamic stretching and meditative nature of yoga. You don’t need to do 20 poses every day, but commit to doing at least three each day. (Get started with these seven easy poses for runners!)

12

MAKE DECADE-LONG RESOLUTIONS

Where do you want to be in 2029? Dream big — and then break down a couple of those long-term goals into practical steps you can be taking right now to crush your running goals in the next decade.

13

RUN 20 NEW ROADS OR TRAILS IN 2020

Local or far-flung, set a goal of exploring 20 new routes. Some of these, you can count off while on vacation or work trips, but use this as a reminder to try roads and trails in your own neighborhood. Most of us get into a routine of running the same 5K loop, never venturing off the usual route. Switch it up!

14

STOP STRESSING ABOUT ‘RACE WEIGHT’

Toss your scale for at least three months. Rather than focusing on a number, shift to focusing on feeling and performing at your best. Taking away the single number metric of ‘success’ can help you see other positive changes, like how good you’re feeling on that tough hill near your house.

15

WORK YOUR CORE

Try adding a 20-minute core-strengthening routine at least once a week. (Like this five-move core workout for runners.)

16

COOK 20 NEW HEALTHY RECIPES

MyFitnessPal’s blog has hundreds of easy, delicious recipes that feature vegetables, clean proteins and healthy fats, so you can change up your cooking without spending a cent on a new cookbook or fancy cooking gadgets.

17

EAT 20 DIFFERENT FRUITS AND VEGETABLES IN A WEEK

Switching up your fruits and veggies helps ensure you’re getting a full range of vitamins, antioxidants and other necessary micronutrients you may be missing by sticking to your standard three go-tos.

18

HOST A RUN AND MOVIE NIGHT

Find something on Netflix or get one of the running classics, like “Chariots of Fire,” and host a nighttime run followed by a movie screening at your house.

19

GET SMARTER WHILE YOU RUN

Set a goal of listening to 20 audio-books during your runs for the next 10 years. Do the math: That’s only two (roughly) 10-hour books each year, which is around 30 minutes per week of running-while-listening.

20

SMILE

Make it your number 1 priority to smile at least once during every single run — even the bad ones. Studies have shown smiling can actually make us feel happier, and that little trick can help change a rough run into a fun one.

About the Author

Molly Hurford
Molly Hurford

Molly is an outdoor adventurer and professional nomad obsessed with all things running, nutrition, cycling and movement-related. When not outside, she’s writing and podcasting about being outside, training and health. You can follow along with her adventures on Instagram at @mollyjhurford.

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