Why You Should Run (or Walk) The Year 2016

Many people make New Year’s resolutions involving exercise. Whether it’s to lose weight, get in shape, or just move more, it’s an admirable goal. As we all know, however, we aren’t always as good about following through on those resolutions—a recent study reports that only 8% of people achieve their goals each year. One reason might be that their chosen goals are unrealistic. I think most of us can admit that we’ve failed to keep resolutions in the past because we lost interest or decided it was just too much work.

Or maybe you’re one of those people who is already active, but your routine has stagnated a bit and you aren’t seeing the results you want. Maybe you could use a challenge to push yourself a little further?

Last year my husband Ed and I participated in Run The Edge’s 2,015 in 2015 year-long virtual race. With 17,000 new-found Facebook walking/running enthusiasts, I learned a lot about running and met some pretty cool people. Most I met virtually, but with plans to meet up at a race at some point. I covered 1349.72 miles last year according to my Fitbit One. 807 of those miles where specific to training and racing and went toward my team total.

Once again, Run The Edge is offering not only a challenge to get and keep you up and moving, they’re offering the company of thousands of people to cheer you on, applaud your accomplishments, answer your questions and keep you inspired to literally go that extra mile.

Here’s why I believe that you should Run The Year 2016 with Run The Edge if you want to keep your walking/running-related New Year’s resolutions or to just stay more active:

Motivation

The motivation and camaraderie available in their Facebook group is amazing. There are so many people who support you just getting off the couch. If you have a question for the group like, “How do I go from walking to running a 5K?” you will get all kinds of supportive answers. From advice about staying warm on winter outdoor runs, or just getting a virtual pat on the back because you got outside and walked around the block, you’ll find the motivation to get your miles in each day.

Daily Give-Aways

Last year they gave away cool stuff each month. This year they are giving away cool stuff every single day. From running socks and medal hangers to running shoes and books, there’s a ton of fun and useful things which with you could walk away. Last year I won a new pair of Skechers.

Encouragement

If you’re feeling stuck or don’t want to get your miles in, just tell the group and lots of people will be there to encourage you. The love and support in this group is unbelievable. Whether you’ve never tracked your miles before or you can easily complete 2,016 miles in 6 months, this group is great for everyone. If you’re feeling stuck or unmotivated, just post that. People will start encouraging you to just move.

Cheering Squad

Are you an avid runner? Are your friends and family sick of hearing you talk about your daily miles, what race you’ve got coming up, how you missed a PR (personal record) by a few seconds, how you crushed you last 5K, or how great the new shoes you just bought are. . .? Then share it with Run The Year 2016 on Facebook. No accomplishment is too small, and no detail about your run is too boring for this group. Tell us all about it. We want to know.

Team Up

And the best thing is you don’t have to run/walk all 2,016 miles by yourself; you can join a team and combine miles with your teammates to reach the goal. Ed and I are teaming up again this year and his daughter Sarah is joining us. I also have four friends teaming up to form two more teams. We are using team names with the acronym PCD (for primary ciliary dyskinesia): People Committed and Determined; Pretty Crazy Divas and People Challenging Diseases. I am also teaming up with a Twitter friend who has COPD (that team name is TBD).

Laughter

Need to brighten your day? Just watch one of Tim Catalano and Adam Goucher’s videos. You can tell they really care about this group and making the experience the best for everyone—and doing it with a laugh.

Commitment to a Good Experience

Catalano and Goucher are also committed to making sure their participants have the best experience possible. With their team of equally dedicated employees, they have worked hard to answer onslaughts of emails, while improving the user’s experience. This year they have an online expo. This is still a work in progress, although it offers a central place for checking messages and updates, registering to receive the daily give-aways, plus a mileage tracker and more from their various sponsors and partners.

Mileage tracker

Last year participants had to track their miles manually. At the start of the month, an email was sent for one person to enter all of their individual team member’s miles as well as for their team’s total miles. This year they have an online mileage tracker that enables each participant to enter their miles daily. If all team members keep their tracker up to date, the team page will instantly give you your team totals. The other nice feature is that the system automatically shows you your current mileage bib.  Last year I felt like I had to hunt for these, but now, every 100 miles a new bib pops up automatically.

Reminders of Why We Do This

It’s important to remember that this is about your personal goals. With all the posts about others’ accomplishments, some might feel a little overwhelmed by the number of miles logged by the higher-mileage runners. This is not a contest to see who completes their 2,016 miles first. Everyone is on an individual journey. The group is here to support you doing more than what YOU did last year and to encourage others to make their goals. The only competition here is against yourself.

If your New Year’s resolutions are already derailed, or if you feel you could use some extra encouragement—sign up for this challenge. If you’re feeling unmotivated and don’t want to move—sign up for this challenge. If you have no problem sticking to your schedule and set a new PR with every race—sign up for this challenge!

I went to bed early on December 31st. I wanted to get a good night’s sleep so I’d be prepared to cover five miles on New Year’s Day. This year my goal is to complete 1,100 intentional miles on my own (this means training and racing miles only)—293 more than last year. That’s an average of three miles a day, which should be easy for those without a chronic illness, but I know I have to make up for those days in September through November when my PCD flares up and I just can’t get three miles done and for those unexpected flare ups throughout the year. Thanks to Run The Year 2016, I’m already ahead of where I was last year by 55 miles, and I don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon!

You can follow my progress and that of my various teams on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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