2014 – year two

some fell running in England in the summer of 2013

It’s that time of year again, you know the drill. Below are some goals and thoughts on the year ahead. 2013 was overall a good year, no injuries and with improvements across the board. Time to step it up another notch and see what happens.

2014 goals

My list of goals is short. They all kind of tie in together. The only true goal is the sub 3 hour for the marathon, everything else is guided by that goal.

Breaking 3 hours for the marathon has been a long time goal of mine. Currently I’d have to PR by about 20 minutes. It’s going to be tough, but is within the possible given the right amount of training. This roughly translates to a 1:25:00 half marathon and a 18:30 5K. So as the year progresses I hope to get closer to those marks.

2014 will reveal if the Maffetone method can help me get much faster. I have a gut feeling that MAF alone will get me pretty close to the 3 hour mark.

Increase my mileage to around 60 per week on average, or 3,000 miles for the year. Nearly doubling my 2013 miles.  I managed to get 1,700 miles out of 2013 without injury. I think with this increase I should start seeing some breaking points in my body. I’ll take the potential injuries as they come, deal with them head on and see where that leaves me. But who knows, maybe my body can handle the extra load. Not impossible.

I’m also going to be focusing more on “time on feet” for the trail runs. Tracking miles makes little sense for off road running since the pace is so inconsistent. I’ll have to look into adding time tracking to my weekly metrics.

more races

trail in yellow, road in blue

I hope to double the amount of races this coming year. Races are great practice and in my case are a stand in for speed work, since all my training so far has been base building MAF method training.

An age group win or outright win would be nice for a change, but not really too focused on winning anything. Just want to get better.

Currently there’s 24 races on the list but this is bound to change. I’m
still on the fence with the 100 miler. Not sure I’m wanting to do that
just yet. I view the really long ultras as something I can put off for a little while longer.

body composition
This one is proving to be very stubborn. I don’t think I’ll be able to get too much faster without shedding some body fat. Currently I’m at 19% body fat, which is within my range for my age, but not good enough for a faster body. So, 10-15% is the goal by the end of the year. This mainly means more control over my diet. I eat good, but sometimes I eat too good.

I will be looking more closely into the Optimized Fat Metabolism diet as well. My MAF running has already help shift my bodies over-reliance on Carbohydrates over to Fat. I can run for hours at a low intensity without any food. I think I can improve on this though, more fat burning and perhaps even aligning my diet to accommodate this. Not gorging on carb heavy foods would be a good start.

passion – mental focus – fun
Hmm, yeah. Perhaps I take this running thing too seriously sometimes. I need to loosen up a little or else I’ll burn out. I already hit somewhat of a lull near the end of 2013. I’m a little more worried about burnout the coming year. I will need to find a good mental head space and find some strategies for staying motivated and avoid burnout.

The overarching goal that supersedes everything else is to be able to stay healthy and have fun for as long as possible. If this running thing becomes more of a “job” I’m pretty sure I’ll start hating it. I can’t let that happen.

other stuff

Gait analysis
A thorough gait analysis would be nice. My form has improved over the year, but I’m far from done tweaking. For one I’m pretty sure my hips are not extending properly. It’s hard to tell though without someone pointing it out for you.

Diaphragmatic breathing
Random thing to look into. Supposedly there is more efficiency in breathing from the diaphragm than from the chest as most of us do.

mantra for the new year: patience, consistency and passion