I have never really been the type to set concrete goals, either in running or the larger context of life. I generally have an idea of what I want to accomplish but the specifics and time frame are pretty fluid. However this year I will be setting 5 very specific and concrete goals for the first half of the 2016 race season. I think having something finite to focus on will help bring me off the plateau I am currently on.
Although I have been running decently of recent I think having a firm target will help provide the motivation and drive I’m looking for to improve on past performances. And that is what all my goals are based on…improving upon MY past performance. Although I would like to place well and win races you never know who is or isn’t going to show up to a race. That’s why everything I have set for myself is time and distance related. I can completely control how far, fast, and hard I train and therefore if I fall short of a goal it was under my control and not because I took second to someone I never had a chance of outrunning. To me this brings about more accountability in workouts and scheduling of a training plan. If I don’t attain my goals its 100% of my own doing and there is no excuse of “Well I would have won if that guy didn’t run” because I am only racing the 2015 Tim…no one else.
Last Saturday’s (1/9/2016) 50k was the perfect example of this. My primary goal was to get a solid 20 mile training run in then use the last 11 miles as recovery and just time spent on my feet. After going thru 20 miles in 2:14 (avg. 6:42 min/mi) I slowed the pace and added in walks to focus on some active recovery. But then I noticed I was in reach of something I had wanted to accomplish for a while…a sub 4 hour 50k. By sticking to my run-walk plan for the last 11 miles I was able to come in at 3:59:17 and feel good enough to run 3 miles at 7:09, 6:29, and 5:41 the following day. In my book I got everything I wanted out of this race: a very good 20 mile training run, allowed my body to recover during the last 1/3, and broke that 4 hour barrier. Although I would have liked to win the race I am completely satisfied with second. I got to run with a great athlete for 17+ miles but did not overtax myself trying to attain a goal of being the race winner. Now I feel strong and ready for this weekend’s races in Bermuda. Which leads me into my goals for early 2016…
- Best my overall performance in the Bermuda Triangle Challenge: Cumulative Time – 4:01:01
- Mile – 5:07
- 10k – 37:29
- Marathon – 3:18:23
- Break 5:00 in the mile. I would like to do this in Bermuda but whether it is in a race later in the year or in training it is something I want to prove to myself I can still do.
- Best my overall performance in the Gasparilla Distance Classic: Cumulative Time – 2:58:10
- 5k – 17:10
- 8k – 29:31
- 15k – 52:41
- Half Marathon – 1:18:48
- Break a 6 min average in a marathon (under 2:37 finish time)
- Break my P.R. of 1:15:59 in the half marathon
These are some pretty lofty goals but I think with my training base, where I am at now, and what I have planned for the next 3 months they are all possible. Either way its ganna be one hell of a fun race season and I can’t wait to get out there and run!