2020 Goals

At the end of 2019 I knew that if I was setting goals for 2020 I needed to be smarter about it than when I did it for 2019.

I believe that the time based goals I have set for myself are achievable. Having ran 22:41 last year, sub 22:00 for 5K may not seem very challenging but I know that I am not in the same shape as I apparently was early in 2019. I know that I shocked myself with my 2019 5K times and I may shock myself again this year but I’m not sure how much faster than that I can go. My 10K pb is 52:04 but that was set way back in August 2018 and I think I’ve improved enough to challenge that. I’ve entered the Great Birmingham 10K on 31st May and there are a couple of others I’m looking at later in the year. I think with proper preparation the half marathon goal is achievable. The only half marathon I’ve entered so far, and probably will be the only one for the year is the Great North Run. It’s not really a PB course given the crowds of runners but fingers crossed everything clicks.

In order to reach those goals I’m going to need to be much more consistent in my training, especially my strength training and also in my nutrition.

2019 a year in review

As I mentioned in my previous post, my first year of running taught me that I work best when I have a goal to aim for otherwise I just drift and procrastinate. So going into 2019 I decided that at the start of the year I would give myself some goals to work towards.

It quickly turned out that my 5K goal of sub 23:00 was perhaps not exactly a stretching target, when I ran 23:57 on New Years Day at Strathclyde parkrun. That’s was quickly followed up with 22:53 and 22:41 on the 5th and 12th of January respectively. I think I did maybe 1 more parkrun in 2019 so didn’t lower my PB any further.

My goal of completing a marathon was a complete and utter disaster. I’d entered the Edinburgh marathon which was the last Sunday in May. The training was a real mess, I struggled to complete sessions and generally my body was not coping with the volume of training either. Eventually I abandoned all hope of a decent time and just hoped I could somehow get myself to the finish line. Unfortunately come the day of the marathon I made it through 4 pretty uneventful miles before I injured my foot. Every time my foot made contact with the ground I was in agony, I made it to about 10 miles before deciding that I was just risking doing some serious damage.

About the only positive thing to come out of the Edinburgh training block was the Haweswater Half Marathon. It was a race that I really enjoyed with beautiful scenery. It was however windy and freezing cold something that was reinforced by the snow falling as I was driving the 15 miles or so back to my parents. I wasn’t trying to hit a particular time largely because, despite the official description saying the course was undulating, it was extremely hilly compared to what I was used to. Somehow despite suffering with some calf issues in the last 3 or 4 miles I managed to creep under 2 hours finishing in 1:59:03.

In September I ran the Great North Run. My training started really well and the disaster of the Edinburgh training block seemed so far away. however about 2/3 of the way through the training I just hit a wall and really struggled from then on. Going into the day I was massively under prepared, yet despite a poor performance it was possibly my most enjoyable race. The weather was glorious sunshine and despite shivering whilst waiting for the Metro after parking up, I really struggled with the heat throughout the run. I also really under estimated how hilly the course is given that it is net downhill. But all that being said it was so enjoyable the atmosphere from the crowds and fellow runners was brilliant. There were spectators on every bit of the course and the ones handing out ice pops were especially welcome. The beer handed out between mile 10 and 11 by the Newcastle Hash House Harriers club was strangely the thing that picked me up and got me to manage to finish somewhat strongly. I have entered the race again in 2020 and am determined to do better and be better prepared this year.

Looking back on my goals for 2019 some of them were obviously a bit too stretching. I didn’t run any 10k races in 2019 so obviously couldn’t hit that target. If 2019 has taught me anything it’s that I’m still relatively new to running and that I need to be careful not to do too much too soon. I was obviously not physically or mentally ready for a marathon and a such if I do ever do one it will only be when I am capable of it.

My first year of running

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Beginnings
As I mention in Why I became a Runner post, I began 2018 as an overweight non runner. Looking back, I find it hard to believe that I had got as big as I had without realising it. As a child and teenager, I was always active and forever playing sport whether it was for local clubs, the school or the county. It didn’t matter whether it was football, rugby, cricket, tennis or athletics I turned my hand to everything. My problems began when I went to university.Continue reading “My first year of running”

Why I became a Runner

Looking back, I find it hard to believe that I had got as big as I had without realising it, in reality it probably snuck up on me as the only mirror in my flat is a little shaving mirror. As a child and teenager, I was always active and forever playing sport whether it was for local clubs, the school or the county. It didn’t matter whether it was football, rugby, cricket, tennis or athletics I turned my hand to everything.Continue reading “Why I became a Runner”