I started running a couple of years ago when training for my huge 3 Peaks Challenge and I really got into it. I am a bit of a fair weather runner though. I love a Saturday morning run in the sunshine before a big brunch. I hate a 7am Monday morning run in the cold and rain before rushing to shower and get to work. Swings and roundabouts, I guess. However, since getting out of the city and moving to Guernsey, I have been enjoying a seafront run 2-3 times a week. I still don’t get out in the rain quite yet but I am battling the wind, so that’s something. It makes me feel like a bit of a warrior actually – battling the elements on the water’s edge. There are many ways in which I want to improve my running, so I thought I would set myself a few running goals for the next year to keep me on track, especially as winter sets in.
My Running Goals
- Get Faster. When I first started running, I used to run with my boyfriend Rob. He slowed down a bit for me but we were around the same level as he was getting his fitness back and we enjoyed our weekend runs together. However, he then decided to train for a marathon and starting clocking up the weekly miles whilst I did not. As a result, he got much fitter and much faster than me. I tend to run somewhere between 6min30 – 7mins/km whereas he is about a minute faster. On a personal level, I want to get faster not only to improve but so that we can get out running together again. Ultimately, I’d love to be running comfortably nearer to 5min30-6mins/km, so that I can run 10km in an hour.
- Complete a Half Marathon in Under 2hrs. This is absolutely related to my first goal as I need to run an average of 5mins 41secs per km to finish a half marathon in under two hours. My previous half marathon times have been 2hrs 21mins and 2hrs 24mins, so I have some work to do. I’ll write more on my strategies for getting faster as I learn more.
- Get the Right Gear. Do I need a Garmin watch? What can I wear on my head to catch sweat/keep hair out of my eyes but that stays in place? I keep thinking I need to get an arm strap for my iPhone. I definitely need better sports bras… and probably a new pair of running shoes. I also need to layer properly for winter runs. At the moment, I am either too hot or too cold. Any advice is welcome in the comments below, fitfam!
- Run a Marathon. Yes, that’s right, I’m jumping on the marathon bandwagon. Being in Dublin, watching Rob’s family complete the marathon together last year really made me want to join in, but I didn’t think it would be anything that I would ever be able to do. Now I’ve decided that there’s really only one way to find that out. So I’ve entered the 2016 Prague Marathon in May. I’ve never been to Prague either so it should be fun, right? (Help!) I have no specific goals for this one, other than finishing. Maybe a bit further into training, I’ll be able to set goals and times once I’m fitter and really see what I can do.
- Learn More About Fuelling My Runs. This will no doubt help me in my marathon training. I want to get really good at understanding what my body needs before and after a run – and also how much it needs. It’s so tempting after running for an hour to just treat yourself to whatever you want – carbs and all! – because you need to refuel. Excuses, excuses. I have been trialling BCAAs (Branch Chained Amino Acids) from Cardiff Sports Nutrition* for faster recovery recently and I like to think that they have really helped me. BCAA’s prevent the body from breaking down the muscle tissue during extensive exercise sessions, and promote recovery and endurance – perfect for HIIT workouts and long runs. I tend to drink them after a run at the moment, but I will look to incorporate them during my longer runs as I train more.
Do you have any running goals for the upcoming year?
*Thank you to CSN for sending me the product to try out – and also for the expert advice.