2019 was the year that this blog came into being, although I have been running ‘properly’ for ten years or so. I covered the decade as a whole in a previous post. Now it’s time to look back on 2019, which is when I started the ‘Run 5k in 20 minutes’ challenge in earnest.
In short, it’s a real mixed bag. This has been a hard post to write.
The Positive Things!
I set a new 10 mile PB, without really training for it
Leading up to the Great South Run, I had been training a decent amount, but I never had a 10 mile race in mind for it. I entered pretty late too, inspired by loads of people from Waverley Harriers heading down together.
Everything came together on the day. I felt strong, set a new PB, and didn’t break myself in the process. That made it a good day. I wrote up the whole experience.
I had a good training and diet focus
… to start with, at least! I had a great mix of ‘normal’ running and track sessions. I made sure I incorporated hills in my training as a standard feature (a previous weak point of my training was running on flat routes pretty much all the time).
I combined this with eating well which resulted in a decent amount of weight loss, which of course only helps when trying to run faster (and more healthily!)
I had fun in races, including cross country!
I really enjoyed the races that I did in 2019. I didn’t do a huge number, but they gave me strong motivation to get better. Cross-country in particular is always really enjoyable due to the social aspects and the challenge of the terrain.
A particular highlight was ‘pushing for three’ by taking the double running buggy round the Guildford 10k with a baby and toddler in it! Naturally, that is never going to be a PB experience but just plain fun and good for building up the upper body!
I gained my Leadership in Running Fitness qualification!
Inspired by the various Leaders at my running club, I obtained my Leadership in Running Fitness (LiRF) qualification. It was good to learn the basic techniques of coaching in this area, and I’m looking forward to now putting the skills into practice in helping others!
The Not So Positive Things
I ‘fell off the wagon’ after the Great South Run
It’s strange. I trained so well (both in terms of running and diet!) leading up to the Great South Run, but afterwards did really badly with it.
My training volume dropped and I didn’t eat well, so regained some of the excess weight I had lost.
I don’t really have a good reason for this. Yes, baby sleeping patterns (or lack of them!) have not helped, but that’s an excuse. Nothing was really stopping me from getting out there and running other than me.
I think another reason is the weather. Getting out there when it is all a bit dark and cold is a lot harder for me than in Spring and Summer when the sun is out and it is gorgeous! I love the challenge of running when it is hot too. That was lacking a lot as 2019 was drawing to a close!
I failed to set a new 5k PB
I was never expecting to get sub-20 minutes in the 5k in 2019 (I started this challenge part-way during the year). However, I would have liked to have set a new PB at least. My best time was 21:16 against a PB (set in 2018) of 20:52.
I failed to hit a training distance of 1000 miles
I have a general target of hitting 1000 miles (approximately 1600 km) during the year. This includes football refereeing which helps! I (just) hit this in 2018 but only managed 1,361 km last year. That highlights to an extent my previous falling off the wagon comments!
However, I want to be careful when setting goals for next year that I don’t fixate on distance at the expense of quality training. For example: A hill session will always be a lower distance than a long run, but it is still very important training! Also, gym work won’t count towards this goal but has its own value.
I am a little bemused by 2019. I did so well at points (although not quite as well as I would have liked…) but now feel I am back where I started, to a degree.
I’m already training regularly again in terms of repairing the damage, and this time I suppose I have all of 2020 to do something wonderful!
That means I now need to set actual goals for 2020! They are forming in my head as I type. I’ll write up exactly what they are in my next post!