Most New Year's resolutions go bust in the first month. If you have running on your list of what will make a new you in 2015, though, here's advice from two coaches on how to make that resolution stick, whether you're new to running, looking to boost your game, or getting back into the sport.
If you're a beginner
Starting can be the hardest part, especially if you don't know how much you're supposed to run and when, and if that weird pain in your quad is a normal part of starting a new sport or an injury.
Don't start by running, says Brendan Cournane, who coaches runners online through CoachBrendan.com. First, check with your doctor to see if you're physically able to undertake a running training program, then start by walking three to four days a week for 20 to 30 minutes.
"Mark it down on the calendar and be consistent," he says of your workouts.
And make sure you mark those workout appointments for six to eight weeks, which is about how long it takes for a new habit to form and stick. Do those walking workouts for four weeks, then start mixing in periods of running for the next four weeks.
Colleen Tindall, whose Team Tindall coaching group is based in South Jersey, says to pair up to keep yourself going.
"Finding buddies is crucial when it's freezing outside and your bed is much more comfortable than cold roads," she said. She suggests contacting your local running store to see when groups are running.
She also recommends a mantra to get you out the door.
"That mantra needs to last you the 10 minutes it takes you to get dressed and walk out the door," she says. "Once you do that, you're usually in it for a long haul." Hers: "It's just temporary."
If you're an experienced runner
If you've been around the block a few times and are still setting a running resolution to do something better - faster times, longer miles, better races, falling back in love with running - Tindall suggests taking a step back to look at the big picture. It may be that you need to go into a base-building phase of just running a lot of miles without speed workouts before you can attack a specific race pace plan.
You could also need rest, Cournane says, especially if you ran a late fall or early winter marathon.
"There's a natural progression that the body needs to cycle and regenerate," he says. Try to see this as a positive: You've already done a lot of training, and that will help propel you toward your next goal after you get that break.
If you're coming back to running
Remember that runner you used to be? Forget that person, at least to start, Tindall says.
"If you were running a certain time for a 5K and then you took some time off, don't be discouraged by that first few weeks of running," she says. "Your body does remember, and it will come."
She recommends running by minutes instead of miles.
"Start with 20 minutes. Do that for a week or two before you bump it up to 30," she says.
And be consistent. That is the best way to make your return to a running program - or any resolution - stick.