Happy new year!
I normally enter a new year pre-armed with a new set of goals. I avoid labelling them resolutions for fear of them being short-lived like the clichéd new year diet or January sobriety that many embrace and rapidly discard at the first sign of discounted drinks offers. I normally spend the first quarter of the year establishing my base fitness then spend the rest of the year tuning my fitness to my “A” races and focusing on key events.
Last year, I unexpectedly spent much of the year running away from the present. Literally, in my case, to escape the monotony of lockdown, to get fresh air, even to acknowledge my fellow Londoner as we ran past each other. So now that I’m here in 2021, what do I do? It’s still too early in the year to plan in earnest (normally my race calendar would be set in stone by the previous Autumn, but this is a pandemic year).
I suppose I should fill you in: 2020 was a year of preserving my fitness and sanity. By January 2020 I had travelled halfway round the world and had run in three continents. By February I’d posted a respectable half marathon time, after my usual end of January calibration run. By March, the UK’s first lockdown kicked in, and all plans for running and expeditions got shelved. By June I was running over 70 miles a week, and by July I was a bit broken, but the lightest and fastest I’ve been as an adult. By September I was back racing: just one race, which was more like a runners’ love-in in the Peak District, just delighted to be out running with like-minded people. In late October, I picked up the mantle to run streak once more, as lockdowns resumed. I ran with my geographically-disparate group of run streakers through November, and I kept going through most of December.
As lockdowns resumed, I purchased a kettlebell to help with strength and conditioning. I started cycling to work, whilst also running every day. And, as a new father, might I add! My run streak ended just before new year, as I pulled my back lifting my 9 week old son. Such an unexpected injury!
So here I am on new year’s day, just off the back of a 60 day run streak, 5 kilos lighter than the same time last year, and ready to smash some challenges. I’m pushing forward with my run coaching plans, to help get more people into the sport. The only race I’ve signed up to is the London Marathon, but it won’t take long for my race calendar to fill up.
My goals for this year are modest: maintain and improve myself, and introduce more people to healthy sporting activities. If I can hit a PB this year, whilst getting at least some people more into sport, I’ll take it as a win. And finally, I should resume writing more.
Whatever your goals are this year, keep pushing forward.