Here we go again… another New Year, another set of running plans, a few goals. From 5k to 50 will be part of the story for the year for me. A bit of a repeat but not too much of one.
These aren’t resolutions as such. I kind of think resolutions suck and give me something else to beat myself up about. So I’m thinking of this as more of a plan. A plan to get stronger and faster and kick butt (my own that is). The aim this year is PBs from 5k to 50.
Maybe longer? Who knows…will see how the first few months go.
The last few months of 2017 went a little by the wayside.
After July’s 50k, I got a little slack. While I hadn’t lost my mojo, there wasn’t anything I was really working towards. I’m one of those folks who needs a big hairy audacious goal to put their mind to and provide real focus.
And then November/December were taken up with SI joint issues and a couple of lurgies – all very normal, the lurgies that is, but annoying all the same. It resulted in my mileage being way down and fitness dropping off a little.
But this time last year? I remember the 2017 New Year’s Day Parkrun. It sucked. Not the Parkrun of course, just the running part. I was slow. My legs felt heavy. Three miles felt a long way.
And what a difference this year. This year I finally did the double Parkrun. Starting at Peckham Rye at 9am followed by Dulwich Park at 10am, running from the first to the second. Feeling pretty chill with a relaxed 7.5 miles!
So this year I have a decent baseline to start from.
The Plan for 5k to 50
I have a few races lined up. In the first 7 months of this year, my aim is to do some arse kicking on 5k, half marathon, and a 50k. This might sound a little insane but hear me out.
I’ve done quite a bit of reading around how to get faster and stronger as a runner. Speed work and hills clearly all have their place. This year, with a stronger baseline, speedy 5ks will help with faster leg turnover and how to push hard, halves with endurance and some speed, the 50k with endurance. I see them very much as mutually reinforcing. I’ll let you know how I get on.
However, something I am clear about is I won’t be racing every race. And I want to make sure I have fun.
So here’s the plan as it stands
Tadworth 10 – slow and steady
Watford Half Marathon – steady pace
Parkrun – pace Running Buddy to sub-30 Parkrun!
Reading Half – Blogger Ambassador – aim for new PB
To be decided – may do another half
Hackney Half – PACER for 2:20! Very, very excited about this!
Trail marathon perhaps?
Chiltern Challenge – I’m back! So 2017’s race went a bit tits up, it happens. It’s time to make a return!
For the 50k, hopefully it will be a little less of this
ending up like this (gory details here)
And a little more like this (though with some running thrown in of course!)
2 seconds per pound per mile – that’s the currently held view. So for each pound lost, you’d get 2 seconds faster per mile if everything else remained the same and subject to having weight to lose.
It’s time to bite the bullet. In addition to hills, speed work, and lots of miles, one of the best ways for me to get faster is to lose some weight. So tedious! On the plus side I know I’d feel better for it.
The only thing is: diets suck and I suck at diets. It’s a hate-hate relationship. Even the thought of going on a diet makes me reach for wine and luscious carbs. For example, I can go for months very happily with no cake in sight. I know some people find this odd – I generally prefer savory to sweet. And I can’t remember the last time I had ice cream.
But if I think I’m on a diet where it’s all about deprivation, all hell breaks loose. All I want is cake, booze, and pizza, and creamy pasta. Given I’m pretty contrary by nature, this isn’t surprising.
I need to be gentle on myself on this one – a little less wine, a little more veg, be mindful of portion sizes, move a little more. Slow and steady. And lots of soup – this is a good thing, soup makes me happy, it’s a bit of an obsession of mine.
I’ll let you know how I get on.
Something I discovered when ultra training is I like running 5 times a week. I know this might seem a lot but each run is different, by distance, pace etc, which keeps it interesting. It also gives me a bit more flex – if I miss a run, that’s OK, it happens. And weekend back to back runs – there’s something deliciously exhausting about these.
My plan is pretty straightforward. Five runs a week including at least one hard session, and one hill session, with some trails thrown in when and where I can.
My aim in January is to continue to build on my base with some hills and speed thrown in. And get back into the routine of daily core and stretching to help prevent injuries by strengthening my known weak spots (see image below).
Note that my plan starts on a Saturday. It means that the bulk of my miles are done by Monday and this works well in my head. Give it a try.
I’ll let you know how I get on!
So do you have any big scary plans for the year ahead? If so, what are they?