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I’m a goal setter by nature. I love to have something to work toward as well as a step by step plan to achieve it. I don’t always set new goals at the beginning of the new year since some goals may be currently in progress but I do use the new year to reevaluate goals or set some new goals. This new year will be no different – I am currently working on my goal of running a sub-4 hour marathon and will be racing in January to realize that goal. But I can’t very well have just one goal and meet it in January, right? So I’ve got goals that will take the rest of the year to achieve and will require a year of focus, dedication and hard work. And I’m up for the challenge!
My goal for 2015 is to run personal records in each of the typical race distances – 5k, 10k, 15k, half marathon and marathon. And to make that even tougher, I added a bigger goal. In addition to attempting to beat my previous personal best times, I want to set specific time goals that will be more challenging for me to reach. These tougher times aren’t too far off of what I can currently run but seem really fast for me and I’ll have to work hard to reach them. Achieving these goals won’t come easy, that’s for sure. That’s what motivates me to make them happen. The test will be how badly I want it and how much I’m willing to give.
Here are my running goals for 2015:
Yep, these are definitely going to challenge me this year! But not to worry, I have a plan! As one of my favorite sayings goes “a goal without a plan is just a wish”. So I have a specific plan to reach my goals and to turn my wishes into reality!
Here’s my action plan for achieving this goal:
- Work out 5-6 days a week on average with one day as rest or very light activity. Although it may seem like a lot to work out this much, the intensity of days varies so some days are harder than others to give my body a chance to recover. In addition to running, I will incorporate strength training and non-impact workouts into my regular schedule 3 times a week.
- Hydrate properly. I do pretty well with drinking enough water so this is more a reminder to make sure I get enough water each day to be properly hydrated.
- Eat right. This is something I’ve been struggling with lately, especially with all the goodies around the holidays. I will eat clean 90% of the time and avoid unhealthy choices, except for the occasional treat. Eating clean makes me feel good and fuels my body so this will help keep my body at a healthy weight as well as provide the vitamins, nutrients and calories that I need to reach my goal.
- Get enough sleep. This one is huge for me. Sleep is what heals the body and recharges our batteries. Running experts advise that runners get an extra minute of sleep each night for each mile per week run. With my weekly mileage averaging around 40-50 miles, I need about an additional 45 minutes of sleep per night. I make the effort to get to bed pretty early since I get up early but I think I would feel much better with an additional hour of sleep each night. My commitment will be to make sleep a priority. You’ll just have to excuse my messy house 🙂
- Supplement my nutrition. Since I’m eating clean 90% of the time, my nutrition is good and I get most of the vitamins and nutrients that I need from my food. However, my intense training schedule (and daily schedule in general) sometimes need additional vitamins and I need to supplement to keep my energy metabolism up and my immune system working at its highest level. I regularly use magnesium since it is needed for many reactions in the muscles. A nightly cup of powdered magnesium in warm water is a nice treat each day. I also take iron supplements to keep my iron levels high enough since iron is important for energy utilization. I have also added Ester-C supplements to my regime to support my immune system. With such a busy and active life, I need all the help I can get!
I’m so excited (and a little scared) of hitting these goals. But they say a good goal is scary and feels slightly out of reach. But I’m already heading in the right direction and didn’t wait for “someday” to start. My workouts are back on track and I’m running well and have added in PiYo and Les Mills Pump videos several times a week. The weight lifting videos are definitely making my muscles stronger in a way that running doesn’t. PiYo stretches and strengthens my body and will make me a better runner. Starting Christmas day, I cleaned up my diet and started eating real food only again and I already feel better and more energetic. I’m working on the hydration by setting a reminder on my phone to drink and I’m also adding different flavors to plain water (like lemon and cucumber). Sleep is a challenge still but I’m working on it. I think that will be easier after we’re back to a regular schedule and don’t have company, vacation, parties and holidays to contend with. I try to nap when I can so I get some additional rest even when I can’t get to bed as early as I’d like.
With supplements, I’ve already made a change to what I’ve done in the past. I’ve been a huge fan of magnesium and the benefits it gives me. Iron supplements are necessary but I haven’t taken them regularly until now. I’ve also added Ester-C Vitamin C supplements, which I picked up at my local Walmart. The reason I decided to add Ester-C to the mix when there are so many different vitamin C supplements on the shelf was because it provides 24 hour immune system support. Ester-C’s proprietary formula is gentle on the stomach and absorbs quickly into white blood cells. It supports heart health and helps support healthy skin and gums. Since Ester-C provides all day support, I don’t have to take it multiple times to make sure I’ve got a healthy dose of vitamin C in my system. I’ve read extensive research about the effect of intensive training like marathon training and the effect on the immune system and know this is something that I need to perform at my best. Not having to worry about my immune system lets me focus on my training more.
Have you set goals for 2015? Tell me about them in the comments below!