(Originally Published on Runners World Loop 1/1/2012)
On New Year’s Day, 2011, I wrote out my running goals for the year. Twelve months goes by quickly, and I find that if I don’t put my goals down on paper, I can easily become distracted and lose focus. I tried to keep things reasonable and achievable. Normally I keep this goal list private, but now that 2011 is history I’ll share it below. It’s probably only interesting to me, but maybe this can help some of plan out your own running goals for this year. Also, I’d be interested in hearing how some of you set goals and track results.
As it turned out, 2011 went far beyond my expectations and I’m super happy with how my running developed:
1. I finished the Rock'n'Roll Arizona Marathon, and went on to run 4 more marathons, including a new PR at The San Francisco Marathon in July.
2. After reading the excellent book “Racing Weight” by Matt Fitzgerald, I made some slight tweaks to my eating habits and have stabilized and maintained my weight at around 160, which seems to be a good racing weight for me. I definitely do NOT think runners should be obsessed with weight, and I believe that if you exercise regularly, your body will probably discover its own equilibrium point that is the best weight for you. But, if you love chocolate and ice cream like I do, it can help to have a basic understanding of how weight relates to running performance, and this book is fantastic for that purpose.
5. I set several new PR’s, some of them lifetime PR’s. Makes me wonder what I could have done in my younger years! But there’s no time like the present, and it’s never too late.
9. I did get more active with The Workout Group (WOG), a wonderful team of people passionate about running, coached by the always-busy Randy Accetta, who also serves as Race Director for many of Tucson’s largest events. “Woggers” meet on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at Reid Park. I don’t make it to every practice, but when I do, I really appreciate being around other people who truly love running. If a training group is available to you, I highly recommend joining them.
10. Most of my speed work is done in races, but I did get in some interval training at WOG. Racing most weekends leaves little time between for speed work, and I try to be careful not to overstress the leg muscles. My routine training run routes are almost always at least slightly hilly, and sometimes I purposely run larger hills.
11. I did do more long runs. Actually I always look forward to the days when I have a long run scheduled. The peaceful feeling of running for a couple of hours or more can’t be matched.