Looking ahead: Realistic New Year resolutions

Stretching Out

Image by Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums via Flickr

I like schedules and plans.

Just ask my parents. It absolutely drives them nuts.

I will do anything (within reason) for anyone, but I like to know when and where well in advance.

I am not a spur of the moment type of guy. The parents are spur of the moment type of people.

The conflict usually created is this:

Phone rings at 10 a.m. on a Saturday: “Morning. Can you help your dad do xyz at noon.”

Me, usually groggy and just waking up: “Well, um, geez. I kind of have something planned.”

Them: “Do we have to pencil everything in with you?”

Me: “Well, yeah.”

I can’t help it. I do a lot and a schedule helps keep things clear and calm. Making spur of the moment decisions or choosing actions out of multiple possibilities without a plan makes me anxious.

As a matter of fact, I would go so far as to say that I like schedules that become routines, and it is only when those routines become mind-numbing that I break them up and begin . . . wait for it . . . new schedules and routines.

This is why, for a large part, I like running groups with their planned schedules. Yes, the company is nice, but I don’t know if  could functionally train without knowing I will run fartleks or hills on Tuesday and distances beginning at 7 a.m. on Saturdays.

Knowing this allows me to build the rest of my days’ less important events around these anchors. (Of course, the added bonus is my ego will make me show up to run with a group on these days when I otherwise might not.)

Living other parts of my life outside of a schedule is also why it’s so hard doing other activities for me.

For example, I am trying to set a routine and schedule for strength training — something I neglect regularly that my running may benefit from.

I try to do what I can, when I can as far as weight lifting, but it doesn’t work. Without a set in stone schedule I either miss days or repeat the same chest routine twenty work outs in a row.

Same basic thing with meal planning and preparation. I just wish someone would set me up with a meal schedule like we used to get in grade school that I can use to guide my food choices throughout the week. You know, pizza and corn on Tuesdays and fun burger Fridays. Of course with healthy substitutes, because even with as much garbage as I tend to eat I am not buying pizza sauce is a veggie or fruit.

This is my goal for the new year, to set up small, manageable routines for my workouts and eating that work for me, so that I may eat better and round out my workouts for strength and injury prevention.

Right now I am in the evidence collection phase. So, I’m searching on the web for set schedules and planning that makes sense.

  • Runner’s World has a nice list of workout suggestions that I am trying to tailor into a weekly program. Right now it’s just a matter of reading through the articles, putting a routine and schedule together, and printing out various circuit exercises that I can place in a binder and take to the gym with me. (I’m also looking at other sites as well for exercise ideas that use the gym equipment I pay for.)
  • For diet, and a few exercise ideas, I am also going back to the well with a website called Sparkpeople.com. Spark people is an all-in-one type site I used to count calories with back in the day when I was starting to run and watching my diet to lose a ton of weight gained in my late twenties/early thirties. What I like best about Sparkpeople is that there is a lot of planning and punching in numbers tools that work for a man of my mentality.
  • I am also open to new sources for fitness information, nutrition, and workout routines. I’ve never been that athletic, don’t really want to spend money on a trainer, but would like something basic to work with on reaching that next level of physical fitness. So, any suggestions for resources are welcome. (This last request will help me weed out the bad from the good online too. So many sites promise insight and help it is hard to judge what is legit and what is someone just spouting off or trying to sell you the latest workout miracle craze.)

I hope by Jan. 1 to have a dietary plan and workout routine in place to compliment my training schedule for a spring marathon. Once I do, I’ll make sure to post it here. I’d ask anyone with any insights or questions to please share. There is definitely going to be a big learning curve and level of discipline here, but one no harder than running if I just put forth a simple clear plan to obtaining my goals.


One thought on “Looking ahead: Realistic New Year resolutions

  1. you really should get with bub on the diet thing. Since his health scare he has totally changed the way he eats and has done a ton of research. Good luck! 🙂

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