Saturday, December 30, 2017

Running records and goals

I ran my last run for 2017 in Whitianga on 28 December. It was a pleasant run, along the Mercury Bay shoreline, up a hill, around the neighbourhood, with a 3.5km section of pace, 16.5km in all. It felt good. I felt compelled to run because (a) it was a great place to run, like Piha and Taupo earlier; and (b) to break 2000km for the year. I probably should have been giving my left knee niggle a rest but it was a symbolic number and I do get itchy feet. I'm now not going to run until I know that the knee niggle that has been with me in various forms is no longer apparent, unless running is part of the treatment for it. The niggle itself has not been an issue for my marathon nor my most recent "get lost" half marathon at Omaha.

In the meantime, one's best times are always good to keep a track of for posterity, so here are my achievements of 2017. All my best are from this year, needless to say:
Estimated Best Efforts according to Strava measurements
1 mile6:06

My best official race times are:
- 5km - 21:18 (Western Springs Run Auckland, Jul 2017)
- 10km - 43:58 (Botany Run Auckland, May 2017)
- Half marathon - 1:36:53 (North Shore Marathon, Sep 2017)
- Full marathon - 3:46:35 (Auckland Marathon, Oct 2017)

My goals for 2018:
- Consistent uninjured running
- 2500km/year (i.e. over 200km most months)
- 5km - 20:00
- 10km - 41:30
- Half marathon - 1:32:00
- Full marathon - 3:20:00

I've already entered several events:
- Coatesville Half in March 2018
- Rotorua Marathon in May 2018
- North Shore Marathon in Sep 2018

The main complication will be the four weeks I spend in China Feb/Mar but I'll try to run where possible. 

How am I going to achieve those? Well, I am unsure whether I've mentioned it but I intend to do it by following the common wisdom that has proven itself to be true. Firstly:
- higher mileage, especially of lower speeds - probably one of my issues in both years was my tendency to try to push every run
- running long runs with fast finishes - never done it before but make a lot of sense
- strengthening exercises - I started doing this this year and it does seem to work
- hill sprints - I only did my first session of this a couple of weeks before the Omaha half in December. I felt better for it.
- focussing on high cadence - I didn't really get cadence till I discovered it for myself. It's the number of strides per minute. I realised half way through the year that I could literally "change gear" by making my stride shorter but put more strides in. Intervals helped refine this.

 I'd like to thank my wife for her patience with my running and not complaining about a hobby that has an alarm going off at 5am, disturbs her sleep, makes for stinky laundry and regular trips to the shoe store. I'm also thankful to live in a place that allows easy running 12 months a year. I'll no doubt understand new things about myself and running and mould these along the way. I hope this coming year has as many discoveries as this has, 2017. Let's go!

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