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Achieving Your 2015 Running Goals

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

I love the bit between Christmas and new year.

Like everyone, I like to indulge a little. Let my hair down. Eat rubbish, and “take a drink”.

But eventually – after a few days – I get a little bored with enjoying myself and start thinking about the year ahead. Trying to make plans.

Again, like most of mankind, new year’s resolutions have never been my strong point.

So as December 2013 drew to a close, I decided to write down my running goals for 2014.

I’d read that if you don’t articulate your goals, your real goals, and commit to them, like all those gone-by-the-wayside new year’s resolutions, you’ll never achieve them.

So I wrote a blog post. And here it is.

One year on, in today’s post, I’m going to see if I achieved my stated objectives, and outline my targets for 2015. And if you’re a runner, I’d urge you to do the same. Having clear objectives which you’ve told people about (even if it’s just your mates) certainly helped me. It could help you too.
 

Did I achieve my running goals in 2014?

  • Try and beat last year’s dismal record of 8.5 months’ injury-free running. Done. Around 10.5 months’ running without injury in 2014. How: regular physio appointments; more foam-rolling; better conditioning; running just four/maximum five times per week (apart from December). Quality not quantity.
  • Go sub-3 in a marathon. Stretch goal: sub-2:50 in Berlin this September. Done. I took 17 minutes off my marathon PB this year, posting 2:49:48 in London and 2:43:48 in Berlin. How: commitment; positive training; belief. For further details read here or here.
  • Sub-1:20 in a halfie. Stretch goal: sub-1:18. Done. I managed 1:17:55 at the Alloa half, taking around three minutes off my PB. How: read my race report.
  • Sub-36 in a 10k. Stretch goal: sub-35. Done but no stretch. How: read my thoughts on 10ks here. 
  • Sub-17 in a Parkrun. Stretch goal: sub-17 in the Pollok parkrun! Not done. My parkrun PB remains from 2013. Why: I did not prioritise 5ks until the end of the year. I need more track sessions to build up my leg speed.

Summary: four out of five ain’t bad. And considering all my training gears towards marathons (as that’s what’s important to me) I’m pretty pleased with the marathon and half times. Did I say pretty pleased, what I meant was, ecstatic!
 

My running goals for 2015

And 2015? This year I’m going to keep it simple. No stretch goals. In order of importance:

  • Marathon: sub-2:40.
  • Half: sub-1:16.
  • 10k: sub-35.
  • 5k/parkrun: sub-17.

So, that’s enough goal-setting for one day. I hope it’s given you, as a fellow runner, cause to think about what you want to achieve this year. And if you think you haven’t got time/can’t devote the energy/are too old…stop making excuses. I turned 42 this year, have two young kids, set up my own business, and the most I’ve averaged during three truncated marathon training blocks (12, eight and four weeks) is 54 miles per week. As Jimmy Cliff said…you can get it if you really want.
 

Top six running experiences in 2014

And finally, in line with last year’s posts, here are my top six most vivid running memories from 2014:

  • A cracking January long run around Cathkin Braes MTB course with Giffnock North clubmate Jason Steele. On a crisp wintry morning, putting the world to rights.
  • Sitting on the tube back to Sam Kumar and Mandy Croft’s, experiencing the runner’s high post VMLM.
  • Running the Berlin Marathon with Nigel Rogerson, someone I didn’t know prior to that race.
  • Running the Alloa half at an average 5:56 per mile with a recovering-from-ultra Scott Bradley.
  • Family weekend with the Gibsons and Steeles at the Highland Perthshire Half Marathon.
  • Running Pollok parkrun with Zak, Jude and the Marsh’s.

And finally, here’s my running year in four pictures:

Camaraderie is a great running motivator.

Giffnock North clubmates (I’m fourth from right) after a recent cross country race.

David Sawyer cross country.

Not looking like I enjoyed it, but I did.

imageLiving with a runner.

Happy new year when it comes. And may all your running experiences in 2015 be rewarding.