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Look back at 2009 & Running Goals 2010

In 4 short days it’ll be 2010.  A new year and a new approach to running.

First a look back at 2009.  It’s been an up, down and back up again year.  I ran my worst Half Marathon, completed my first Marathon, missed a Half Marathon due to injury sustained running the Marathon then pulled a (just) sub 2hr Half Marathon distance I trainined for at the end of the year.  Even though I write this wrapped in my duvet, lying on the couch feeling like my sinuses are going to explode having not run for a week, i’ll take it as ending the year on a high note.  

You see, as well as my last target run ending well, I’ve started to record my running in a more structured manner (Sunday Stats!).  Sure, I’ve always used GPS smartphone apps to log my runs.  That should be fine, however, in the last year I’ve had to use 4 different apps because I’ve changed my device then I encountered issues with the applications since.  So data is fragmented and I can’t really look back at what I’ve done.  I decided to do what every normal runner does and keep my own log and not rely on 3rd party apps.  I set up a spreadsheet where I can log my run details no matter what device or application I use.  It means manually inputting figures every week but it also means I’m properly monitoring my performance. Further more, it means I’m now in a position to do something for the first time in 2010… Set my running goals!

What’s in store for 2010?
2010 Goals:

  • 650 miles total in 2010
  • Average pace 9.00 m/m over 2010 
  • Run in at least 4 races
  • Best Marathon time: Sub 4hrs
  • Best Half Marathon time: TBC

Q1 Goals

  • Run 162.5 miles
  • Average pace 9.25 
In terms of mileage, the goal isn’t huge.  I’m running a lot in Q1/Q2 so I know I’ll make my Q1 goal at least. But, I wanted to allow for injury (tap on wood i don’t suffer any) and any weeks throughout the year I may not be able to run for other reasons.  

The average pace goal on the other hand. That may be a little more tricky.  I’m certain I can do it.  The last 3 months I averaged a 9.5 m/m pace. Aside from 2 weeks toward the end of the period, my average pace was going down, which is good since my mileage was increasing.  

For races, I’ll be running the Balloch to Clydebank Half Marathon in March and the Edinburgh Marathon in May.  Only two runs so far but I intend to add to that by at least 2 – one of which possibly being the Glasgow Half Marathon in September (which i missed in 09 due to injury). 

You may notice I haven’t set solid goals for race times.  I will do. Just not going to do it now.  I’ll update that part soon.  However, first thoughts are at some point in the year i would like to achieve a sub 4hr Marathon (in May, obviously) and possibly a 1:40 Half Marathon. There I said it. Don’t quote me on it though  ;)

I’m sure the goals are achievable, but they’re not set in stone. I’ll reassess my goals every quarter and adjust the annual goals dependant on how well I’m doing.  That may sound like cheating, but I’ve never set any running goals before so i should be allowed some room to adjust, shouldn’t I?

Do you have any running goals for 2010?  It would be great to hear them!

Here’s to a great 2010 for everyone! Running Log Discussion

I read a good post over at today.  It focuses on a running log.  Do you keep one?  You may have noticed, I’ve only recently started keeping my own log rather than having to rely on a piece of software that comes with the tracking equipment.
Anyway, they had some interesting discussion questions, which are shown below.  I’ve also dropped in my comment.  Hit the link at the end, visit their site and let them know your thoughts! 
Please let other iRunFar readers know how you record your training. Feel free to include links to your online training logs. While you’re at it, take a stab at the following questions:
  • What’s a week? – Do you start your training week on Sunday or Monday? Why?
  • Why a week? – Why not train on a 5-day, 9-day, or 13-day schedule? As usual, Geoff Roes got me thinking with his post One Week? Screw That.
  • Miles or minutes? – I not sure if I should even touch this one, but do you more frequently record time or mileage in your training log. I’m a miles man myself.
  • Start and stop? – Until I started my current log almost 6 years ago, I must have used half a dozen others all of which quickly went by the wayside. Anyone else have or had this problem? Have you gotten over it? If so, how?
Great post. Great comments too!  Really got me thinking about what else I can log about my runs.  I keep it simple just now (miles, time, pace, elevation) but I like the idea of keeping track shoe mileage, etc!

What’s a week? – Personally, my training week ‘runs’ from Monday to Sunday.  Sunday is the easiest day for me to get in a long run since i’m not at work.  Also, any time I take part in a race it always seems to be on a Sunday, so it seems to make sense to plan long runs for the end of the training week.

Why a Week? – if I’m honest, I’m not sure.  I guess I’ve just been going along with the ‘norm’ these last few years.

Miles or Minutes? – Miles!  But, my log records total time run too.  For me it’s just a stat to look at every few weeks.  E.g. i finished training for a half marathon distance and thought it was kind of cool to know i’d spent nearly a full day running.

Start and Stop? – I’ve only been running a few years but in that time i went from no log to using Nokia Sports Tracker, Buddy Runner, map my run and Sportypal.  I’ve now realised it’s probably best to use your own training that’s independent of whichever software you use to track your runs.  So back in September I set up a spreadsheet in google docs and started posting it on my blog on a weekly basis. I use the blog to make notes about how my training was the previous week, etc.

I’d recommend storing any training log in the cloud (e.g. using Google docs).  Then that means you don’t have to worry about your hard drive breaking, backing up with USB drives, etc.  Plus it means I can update or check my log from anywhere with a net connection.

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