The Future: 2011 Running Plans

Well it's been a whole month since I last blogged and 2011 has got off to a flyer training wise. Including today's run of 9 mile hill reps I averaged 50 miles a week for January. That is a new record for me, modest for some but for me it's a good sign that my running has gone up a level and I feel much stronger for it. I will be looking to build on this moving forward throughout the year and what a year in store. Here are some of my goals for this year:

  • Complete Bob Graham Round in sub 24 hours. This for me is my main focus this year and it's going to be one hell of a challenge. 65 miles, 42 summits, approx 28,500ft of ascent and all self-navigated through the Lake District. This is one of the most demanding challenges within the UK and to be honest it probably hasn't sunk in yet just how challenging it is going to be until my first proper recce in March. I wanted to aim high and this is pretty much right up there with other ultras in the UK. I will be posting quite a lot on this in the future as the logistics of it are mind boggling.
  • Finish a 100 mile race. This is another high priority for me this year and I have deliberately picked the Caesars 100 miler after reading reports and being recommended it by other fellow ultra runners. 10 x 10m loops, 1,520 ft of ascent per loop, low completion rate and some funky country music played by Henk.What a race this will be.
  • Finish in top 25-30% at a Marathon / Ultra race. This goal is more about improving my performances in races and measuring my progress from where I have been the last two years which is pretty much middle of the pack.
  • Stay Healthy for whole year. This is quite simple really, if I am able to do this then I am confident I can improve my race performance and take things to another level. I suffered quite a bit during the summer with a foot injury caused by over training and I really want to avoid that this year and push through the next level of performance barriers. I have also dropped down to 177 pounds in weight which is 20 pounds lighter than this time last year so I am very pleased with that but I continue to eat rubbish especially when mileage is going up so it's an ongoing battle to improve this, one I intend to win though.
  • Set a new PB for every distance from 5k->100 miles. This is a low priority however I would like to do this and feel that all of my current PB's are soft and with the coming months this will most likely be a natural result of training. I will be adding races to the calendar when a free slot presents itself.
During the past 12 months I have learnt a lot about myself as a runner and what works for me, what doesn't work for me and able to adapt in given circumstances. I hope that this year will be a breakthrough year and that I will smash it. I feel privileged that I am able to put myself into a position to even contemplate the above and I thank a lot of people in my life for supporting me especially my wife and daughters who put up with a lot of mutterings regarding my running. In the end though it has helped me through some stressful times whilst helping me discover mental and physical depths I didn't think I had.

If you have just discovered running my advice would be just get out there and have some fun. Simple as that it will change your life!