Syracuse Online


Dr. J. on Running

New Year Resolutions

Resolve to run better

Published January 1, 2001 in The Post-Standard.

By Dr Kamal Jabbour, Contributing Writer

A New Year brings new resolutions. With the millennium bug and pregnant chads behind us, I propose an eclectic menu of running resolutions to suit every taste.

  • Run five days each week. Any more running, you increase the risk of injury. Much less running, you miss the desired training benefit. Walk for an hour one day, and rest on the seventh day.
  • Buy a new pair of running shoes. Rotate between two pairs at all time to reduce the risk of injury and give your shoes a chance to breathe.
  • Do your marriage a favor and leave your running shoes in the garage. Then you can rightly blame stale odors on the dog.
  • Start lifting weights, thrice, twice or even once a week. Strong muscles protect stressed bones and give you that little extra energy at the end of a long race.
  • On the subject of racing, plan to race once a month. You meet new people at the races, and celebrate your fitness. Racing also provides a sure way to delay aging, since racers do not grow old, they just get slow.
  • Drink more water and less beer. One hydrates the body, the other dries the brain. Runners live in a constant state of dehydration, affecting both health and performance.
  • Wear sunscreen on bright days, both in winter and in summer. Even in Syracuse, runners spend too much time in the sun.
  • Leave your headsets at home when you go running. Enjoy the sounds of birds that sing and streams that flow, and react in time to skidding cars and silent bikes. You run a lot safer with all five of your senses.
  • Read a book on running. Old favorites like George Sheehan's "Running and Being" or John Walker's "Once a Runner", and newcomers like Chris Lear's" Running with the Buffaloes" feed the soul on a dreary day.
  • Attend a local high school or college track meet, and support running at its grassroots. If not, watch every lap of every race on the Internet. It is a close second best to the real thing.
  • Join a local track club. Membership provides the tangible benefits of group training, travel to races, and a newsletter, as well as many social intangibles of companionship.
  • Volunteer at a local track meet or race, and give back to running some of what running gives to you. Better yet, call a race director and offer to host a visiting athlete at your home.
  • Renew your membership in USA Track and Field. By joining the national governing body for our sport, we carry greater weight in influencing its direction and affecting the desired outcomes.
  • Update your will, and spread the joy that running brought into your life. It does not cost much to endow a scholarship or to start a running program at a local high school.

Kamal Jabbour runs and writes on the hills of Pompey, New York. His RUNNING Column appears in The Post-Standard on Mondays. Dr.J. created, webcasting live Every Lap of Every Race. He receives email at

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