New Years Resolutions

The first week of January tends to be full of grand plans, new trainers and a list of slightly too ambitious running goals. As the month carries on and work and life takes over, it can be hard to stay on track. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With some smart planning and realistic goals, you can reach your targets and get stronger doing it. We spoke to our experts to find out how to plan for the year ahead, and stick to it.

Emily Ackner is a personal trainer, founder of Food Mood Move and experienced marathon runner. She gave us her top tips to staying on track this year.

Find a training buddy

Having someone to run with and enjoy the highs and lows of the months leading up to race day means you'll clock up those miles no problem.

Enjoy your food but eat well

Those longs runs warrant a slice of cake, just make sure you're still getting in your greens, grains and protein. Treat your body with kindness and fuel it right.

Time for a stretch

Running long miles will shorten and tighten your muscles as they do their thing. Take time every day to lengthen them again with some key quad, hip flexor and hamstring stretches.

Remember to smile

The energy you give is the energy you'll get. That goes for short training runs and race day alike. Softening the muscles in your face and smiling will help to stay positive when you have to dig deep and keep on running.

Factor in a buffer

Sticking to a training plan is important but so is recognising that sometimes life gets in the way. Avoid any stress or feelings of guilt by giving yourself a couple of potential 'long run' dates when it gets to the big miles.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

Carry that water bottle with you during the day and don't wait until the morning of your run to gulp down gallons on the go! This is especially important in the week before your run (aim for 3 litres a day). Just remember to ease off the night before the race to avoid those loo queues.