Good morning, readers!

Hope you are all nicely settling back into your routines this week.  It’s been a crazy holiday season, and I for one am certainly excited for the arrival of 2012 and to be back in my normal swing of the things.  I’m also really excited for today’s post from one of my blog friends, Whitney @ LiveRunLoveYoga!  I’m thrilled to have Whitney guest post for me about running and ways to make running more fun this year.  Since I’m not a runner I don’t write much about it, and I’m really thankful that Whitney was willing to share all her amazing tips and tricks with you all. 

After reading Whitney’s words of wisdom, please be sure to check out:
1.  The cool running related giveaway at the end of this post, and
2.  Information on how to sponsor Whitney in the Boston Marathon and support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society!

Enjoy 🙂

Add Some Fun to Keep Your 2012 New Year’s Running Resolution

Hi everyone at Fitness and Feta!  Happy New Year to you all!  I’m really excited that Athena asked me to guest post and talk about one of my favorite topics, running!  My name is Whitney and I blog over at  I talk about running and yoga, eating well, and living a healthy lifestyle.  You can find me on Twitter and you can “Like” me on Facebook!

How many of you set a New Year’s resolution?  How many set one that included working out more or running more? Running is always a priority for me and I’m always looking for ways to keep it fun and exciting so it doesn’t go stale.  So what are my tips to keep you looking forward to your next run and make this resolution one you won’t break? Let’s take a look!

Set Realistic Goals.

I love goals! I set them monthly so I stay focused on the things that matter most to me.  Tackling your New Year’s resolution with a similar approach will help make you successful.  If you are new to running set a goal to get out and run twice a week.  Set another goal to run your first 5K in June or July.  If you’re a seasoned runner your goal maybe be to do one track workout or a tempo workout per week.  You may aim to run your first marathon or half-marathon in the late spring or early fall and build your miles until then.

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Get a Plan.

There are tons of plans out on the web.  Runner’s World has the Smart Coach system where you can set goals, and it maps it out for you.  If you get sick or miss a few days you can mark those days as missed, and the plan will automatically adjust for you!  For the new runner look for a couch to 5K plan.  Lots of runners have had great success with that.  For the more advanced runner there are specific plans on Runner’s World to help you meet your time goal.  Hal Higdon has plans for free on his website, but I tend to think they have too many miles each week.  With your plan look at the structure so that even when your race is over you can keep running and improve.   Each week you should try to have a longer run on Saturday or Sunday, a shorter recovery run early in the week and a speed or tempo workout on Wednesday or Thursday.  Be sure to take rest days! They are vital for your success!

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Track Your Progress.

I use the Garmin 405 to track my runs and upload the data to Daily Mile and Garmin Connect.  I manually add in my yoga classes, gym workouts and strength workouts.  I’m able to run reports to see how my average mile pace is increasing from month to month or track my total miles.  These reports encourage me to keep working hard as I see improvement.

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Set Run Dates!

Run dates with a friend are great for two reasons.  They keep you accountable and they make it FUN! I met one of my friends at the gym, we like to meet up after our workout to go get a healthy meal and catch up.  This way we get to the gym, sweat and eat a healthy meal.  Another one of my favorites is to meet a friend for a run.  You get outside, you get your run in, you get to catch up and you save calories by skipping the meal or drink at a restaurant which is also great for your budget! Running with a partner can challenge you as well, you may run harder or longer than you normally would.

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Find a Running Group!

My boyfriend and I regularly go to a running group on Monday nights.  It allows us to kick our week off right, gives us something to look forward to on Monday and we have made some friends that we look forward to seeing each week.  And since we often run with people who are faster than us it really helps build our speed! Most of all, it’s fun!

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Run for a Cause!

I’m running the Boston Marathon in April with The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  While you raise money for a great cause, you are given the opportunity to meet some incredible runners and you have constant motivation to keep running.  With Team in Training we are given a training plan and every Saturday morning we meet for a distance run.  There are volunteers who set up aid stations and encourage you along the way.  On Tuesdays we meet and do a track workout at the local high school.   You are never running alone and there is lots of motivation!  And plenty of accountability!

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Run Holiday and Themed Races and Fun Runs!

While you were out Christmas shopping you probably saw some road races where everyone was dressed in red and green with Santa hats.  Or if you live in Boston you may have seen a bunch of men and women running down Newbury Street in red Speedos.  In July there are 4th of July Runs where people where red, white and blue running shorts! For Halloween you see people all dressed up for the race.  Sign up for a few of these with some friends, and have fun planning your outfits out and since you know you’ll be racing you’ll be sure to hit the pavement before race day!

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Reward Yourself!

As a runner I’m often intrigued by the latest and greatest running gear.  The new running shoes, the fancy new tights, the newest Garmin watch, a pretty new shirt at Lululemon are just a few items I lust after.  I replace my shoes every 350 miles, so if I really want a new pair I tend to hit the pavement more so I hit the 350-mile mark sooner!  I often reward myself with a new race outfit for my upcoming marathon or race as well.  However you want to reward yourself, you should! It will keep you motivated and it is an investment in yourself and your health!

I hope you all have a fantastic New Year and find success with all of your resolutions and healthy living goals!  If you are interested in learning more about running and yoga please stop over to LiveRunLoveYoga or find me on Twitter and Facebook!

If you are interested in supporting Whitney as she runs the Boston Marathon in April for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, make sure to click over to Whitney’s fundraising page and make a donation!  Every little bit helps.  You can also click over to this post on LiveRunLoveYoga for ways to enter Whitney’s raffle and a chance at winning really cool prizes such as motivational fitness books, sparkly workout headbands, a $25 Gift Card to GoSport ID, and more!  All proceeds go toward a good cause!

And finally, the running gear giveaway!

Like I said earlier, I don’t run very often.  I have had too many past foot injuries to risk hurting myself further!  However, I’ve been given some running related gifts in the past and unfortunately have never been able to really use them.  I figured this would be a good time to give away some of these running related products as part of my de-clutter goal for the new year.

What am I giving away?

A Nike + iPod Sensor along with a Nathan Shoe Pocket!

The perfect complement to your workout – helps you track progress and make running more fun.  Plus the Nathan shoe pocket lets you enjoy in any shoe, not just Nike.  I wish I could have used these tools!  But I want one of you to instead!

Giveaway Rules
– Mandatory first entry:  Leave a comment on this post telling me anything you want about running!  Are you a runner?  Have you ever run a race?  Have a New Year’s resolution (or SMART Goal) related to running?  Any comments for Whitney’s running tips?
– Optional additional entries (each must be posted as a SEPARATE comment to count as separate drawing entries)

  • Tweet the following:  “I want to win cool running stuff from @fitnessandfeta!”
  • Follow Fitness & Feta on Twitter
  • Like Fitness & Feta on Facebook
  • Post this giveaway on your own Facebook page
  • Link to this giveaway on your own blog
  • Subscribe to receive Fitness & Feta posts to your inbox!

I’ll announce the winner on Friday.

Happy Running!