Running can be a chore, especially when it is grey and cold outside during the winter months. It’s always easy to find an excuse to stay in bed, not leave the house or stay glued to the computer at the office. However, there is one run in the year that I never miss regardless of weather conditions: my year-end run on December 31st.

And I don’t miss it because I am training for something. No, I never miss it because it prepares me so well for all the upcoming professional and private milestones in the New Year.

So here is what I do: on the last day of the year I lace my favourite adidas running shoes, pick a scenic course around my home and off I go for at least an hour.

runner smiling the run I never miss
My final run of the year is never a chore. It always puts a smile on my face.
man running next to lake winter last run of the year
Choose a route you love to run. The familiarity will spark good memories to build on in the coming months.
stretching last run of the year
Warm up for the New Year and get ready to stretch yourself even further.
01 of

I reflect about what has happened the whole year. What was good, what was not?

What can I learn from it? Which person inspired me the most? What changes should I make? What should I continue and what should I stop doing in the New Year?

Of course, you can think about these questions at any time and in any location but believe me, it is so much easier to answer these questions while running. When I return I might be physically exhausted from my run, but mentally I feel so well prepared for the New Year. That’s why the last run of the year is the one run that I will never miss.

So no excuses: give it a try and let me know how it went.


Please take note of the commenting guidelines.
You will receive an email to approve your comment.
Please take note of the commenting guidelines.
You will receive an email to approve your comment.

Thanks for your comment

You will receive an email to approve your comment. It will only appear after your confirmation.


Oh no! An unexpected error occurred.

Try again
by Gemina Stroud 29.12.2016
Great article Jan! Like your year end run...I never miss a Monday. Mondays feel like new beginnings for me. I am going to take your advice and try a year end run on Saturday though...clear it all out on the pavement. Looking forward to the new year and all the possibilities/opportunities it will bring. #Hopeful
by Jan Runau Gemina Stroud 09.01.2017
I wish you all the best, Gemina, and keep on running in 2017!
by ibrahim 02.01.2017
Nice article. i sort my priorities during my run and my last run for this year was a long one, but helped me clear my mind and set priorities for 2017.
Nina Weihrauch
Nina Weihrauch | Editor ibrahim 09.01.2017
Hi Ibrahim,

sounds great! I hope you had a fresh start to 2017. How has your first run in the new year been?

High five,

by Larry Harris 03.01.2017
I couldn't agree more. I too use my legs but instead of pounding the trail I spin my gears on my bicycle.
My bike season is 52 weeks of the year and living in Canada you can count on the full cross section of weather, snow, rain or shine.
There is always one ride between Christmas and New Years that I take to see if I've been spinning my wheels the past year. That is where I reflect and see if I need to change gears for the upcoming new year or to continue on the same trail of life and maybe adjust my style a bit.
When completed I maybe gasping for air but I certainly have a better grasp of where I have been and an even better one of where I want to go.
Never regret that ride, never will.

by Jilles 27.12.2018
Great thought, ending the year sportive and reflecting. I take this run to the very first day of the new year to think and look forward, instead of looking back. It also helps the kill the champagne clouds in your head...
by Jan Runau Jilles 03.01.2019
I hope you enjoyed your new year’s run then, Jilles. All the best for 2019!
by Jenilee 29.12.2018
Great Article! I have been doing this in small doses this week but other thoughts have been creeping in. Will take you advice, Jan, and focus solely on the year - what I have learned and what I can grow from. May be out for a few hours but totally worth it!
by Jan Jenilee 03.01.2019
All the best for 2019, Jenilee! Looking forward to seeing you for a nice run on either side of the ocean.
by Liz S. 29.01.2019
Thanks for sharing, Jan - I love this tradition of yours! I tend to do a lot of thinking while I run, so I appreciate making an effort to really focus on one topic and reflect. Once I'm running again I know I'll be reflecting on how thankful I am for my health...and my legs! :)
by Anne Mäusbacher 10.01.2022
I love it, thanks for sharing.