2016 Goals

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Having posted my 2016 races, here’s a list of my goals for 2016:

1 mile Regular sub-6 Current PB 05:57
5k Sub-19 (PB was 20:06 when I wrote these goals in December 2015)
10k Sub-39 Current PBs:
42:16 off-track
41:33 on-track
40:40 on treadmill
Half-Marathon Sub-90 Current PB 01:32:15
Marathon 03:30:00 Current PB 03:46:04
Total mileage Run 2016 miles in 2016
Flexibility Be able to do ‘hurdler’s stretch’ by 31 Dec 2016
Other Continue barefoot/forefoot/minimalist transition

At least 7 hours sleep per night; preferably 7.5

Don’t lose any more weight

I first tweeted a draft of these goals a day or two before New Year’s Eve, during UKRunChat hour (a lovely hour – all the 2015 Community Members of the Month, including myself, had been invited to be joint co-hosts). I received a couple of interesting responses.

5k and 10k Goals

That first draft of goals that I tweeted had my 5k and 10k goals at sub-20 and sub-40 respectively. ‘Coach’ Howard Chambers – a very experienced runner who leads running groups, organises the UKRunChat training weekends and thinks nothing of trail- and fell-running up the sort of crazy hills in crazy weathers that would have this confirmed road-runner quaking in his shoes – suggested that I could push myself more. And he was right. At the time, my 5k PB was 20:06, so to go sub-20 would only mean finding an extra seven seconds. Not very ambitious.

This reminded me of one of the central tenets of the goal-setting as part of Jantastic, which sadly isn’t running this year. As Tom Williams explained on Marathon Talk (highly recommended, by the way – I’m a big fan) the idea is to set realistic goals which are a challenge, but achievable.

No ‘showboating’.

No setting an easy goal, then smashing it by miles and preening, “Ooh, no idea where that came from.” Which is exactly what I would be doing by giving myself seven seconds to find.

So.

My 2016 5k goal is now to go sub-19.

Now, I’ve been trying to go sub-20 since December 2014, when my 5k PB was 21:18. I’ll feel as though I’ve joined a pretty elite club when I finally do go sub-20, which surely can’t be that far away (it isn’t, it’s now history, I’ve done it already – twice! – but I’ll post separately about this). The feeling of going sub-19, of having my 5k PB start with an “18”… well, I’ll feel as though I’m really entering special territory. I do see people on Twitter running into the 19s at 5k. I really don’t see very many running into the 18s. The thought of doing this is stupendously challenging but deliciously thrilling. I want it so badly. And it’s therefore the essence of goal-setting.

The same goes for my 10k goal. This was originally sub-40. It’s now sub-39. For the same reasons.

(Actually, going sub-39 at 10k really will be a major challenge. I took over a year to find 79 seconds at 5k to go sub-20. Depending on which of my 10k PBs you count – and I go by the slowest one – I have nearly double this amount to find, and at double the distance. But if I train hard and approach it right, I’ll do it.)

Howard was using the hashtag #BeBold2016, which struck a chord with me. He’d already suggested upping my goal total miles for 2016 from 1500 to a nice, fitting 2016. That’s 168 miles per month. I currently run approximately 130 miles per month. But I do love a challenge. So there it is.

Marathon Goal

The most intriguing response when I tweeted my original goals was that if I can hit the above 5k and 10k times, I really ought to be able to run a faster marathon.

This is a good observation. The trouble is that, realistically – and I believe in thinking positively, I really do, and I believe that we can talk ourselves into or out of a great deal of achievements (one of my favourite quotes: “whether you think you’ll do it or whether you think you won’t, you’ll be right”) – realistically, I just can’t see myself running faster than 03:30:00 this year.

Just to run 03:30:00 would be more than a sixteen minute improvement on my current marathon PB, let alone any faster. I haven’t yet run sub-03:40:00 at marathon in training, and I’m close to hitting the wall, if not having actually hit the wall, by the end of these runs.

Obviously I’ll push for the best possible time I can get (without blowing up).

Obviously I’ll be trying.

But at the moment I’ve not changed the 03:30:00 goal, and I think being realistic like this is also the essence of goal-setting.

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