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Why you should make your New Year resolutions on October 1st

I always wondered why so many people make their most critical resolutions on January 1st.

I understand that it seems easier to put the ending year behind us by starting the new one with a new set of good aspirations. If only we had the discipline and willpower to maintain our good intentions past February!

Running is no different. Many decide to take up running on January 1st and dreams of overnight fitness glory. Unfortunately, like good wine, running is not something you can rush. But why make it harder on yourself by choosing to start your training in the dead of winter? Cold weather running is, in my experience, the hardest form of fitness training. I am not talking about running at zero degrees Celsius. I am referring to windy and bitterly cold temperatures ranging from -10 to -30 below zero. Did I mention I live in Canada? I love running in cold weather just as much as I would love having open heart surgery without anesthesia using a spoon! But I chose to live up here, and there is no way I will forgo running because of a six-month mercury drop. However, if I had to start running, I would not choose to begin my new trotting habit in January. I would elect to start October 1st and gradually ease into winter. Don’t you think it would be mentally and physically easier? I certainly would.

In October, if we are lucky, the temperature will still be relatively mild. Assuming we stick to our resolutions and train a minimum of three times a week, we will gradually adapt to the temperature drop and be ready to run in colder weather by November. No need to shock ourselves more than necessary. Running is hard enough, so why add cold weather dread to the experience? Face it, winter is inevitable. However, you are in control of when you start to prepare for it.

So, come October, make your running-related new year’s resolutions and stick to them even if they are hard. Remember, running is hard, but living with not sticking to the promises you made to yourself is a lot harder.

Now, go out and run!