When I set goals back in December, I know in the back of my mind that goals will shift and adjust throughout the year. What may be a priority or feasible in January may not be so once July arrives! So I like to reassess and update my yearly goals halfway through the calendar year.
Also, I thrive on variety: back in school I double majored and double minored, I prefer to not repeat workouts in a training cycle, and I like to compartmentalize my goals and have just a couple BIG goals than focus on too many goals for too long.
Originally, my running, hiking, and other active lifestyle goals for 2016 were:
- Sub-1:40 half marathon (check! I PR’ed with a 1:38:40 back in early March).
- PR in the Marathon
- Thru-hike a Segment of the Pacific Crest Trail
- Improve Fueling and Hydration
- Grow Coaching Business
- Expand Pilates Practice
Now, six months later, I’ve run several mental reassessments on my runs (there truly isn’t a better time for me to think than on an easy run, because when my body is moving my mind can focus better). By examining what I already have achieved, the temporarily setbacks I encountered with injury and how I adjusted with them, and what I am realizing I need to work now, I’ve revised my goals as the following:
- PR in the Marathon
- Improve Fueling and Hydration
- Improve My Running Form and Stride
- Strengthen Core
- Focus on Nutrition for Peak Performance
- Lift Heavier Weights at Least Once Per Week
- Grow My Coaching Business
Many of these goals are sub-goals, or let’s say compartmentalized goals, under the large goal of a PR marathon. Obviously, nutrition for peak performance won’t be my goal in those three weeks of December after California International.
I did not include any specific hiking goals (although lifting heavier weights is certainly so I don’t bitch and moan through our next backpacking trip) because I’m enjoying hiking as it is, progressing it as Ryan and I both feel, and just simply enjoying each hike and the time outside with Ryan and Charlie.
PR in the Marathon
I’m running the California International Marathon in early December, so training will start in just a few weeks! I’m not setting any time goals until training progresses and I can gauge my fitness better, but I’m less focused on a specific time and more focused on training hard, running a strong and enjoyable race, and crossing that finish line feeling that I gave my best.
Improve Fueling and Hydration
Over the first half of the year I found my groove in what works well for me for half marathon distance long runs and races, so my focus for the second half of the year will be on marathon fueling and hydration, particularly training low and racing high in regards to carbs/fuel.
Improve My Running Form and Stride
I have a lazy stride. Taking running selfies for Instagram has revealed some deficiencies in my form, including overstriding and a lack of full hamstring/hip extension.
I certainly have improved my arm swing and posture over the past couple years, which is a good starting point. My plan of attack is simple, something I would as a coach prescribe to my own athletes: hill sprints, drills, strength training, and increased mileage (which itself is part of my goal for PRing in the marathon as well).
Strengthen My Core
I mentioned this one last week, but a stronger core is a huge goal for me right now. I need to vary my core work and hit all those muscles to truly see a difference (both in terms of performance and aesthetics). My plan includes Pilates, stability ball exercises, and specific core strength training at least once per week each.
Nutrition for Peak Performance
Naturally, if my primary goal for the remainder of 2016 is to run a strong and enjoyable marathon, I need to focus on nutrition over the 18-20 weeks of training. Why? Because miles are only part of the picture; a body needs nutritious food and the appropriate amount of it to run well.
Quite simply put, this goal means I want to focus on fueling my body well, eating high quality foods while enjoying treats, and putting in the hard work of running and strength training to get lean at a healthy, strong racing weight. Please note that racing weight indicates a healthy bodyweight that’s a natural result from training hard and eating well, not being underweight due to restriction or overexercising.
This includes tracking my nutrition a few days a week, to ensure that (1) I am eating the appropriate amount for my activity level, especially as the mileage piles up, (2) I am eating enough (mostly vegetarian) protein and fats since I am a carb monster, and (3) eating 7-9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. I enjoy treats in moderation of course and I don’t obsess about calories when I track at all. My friend Susie described her 80/20 approach to healthy eating, and that’s exactly where I fall – eat real food, mostly plants, not too much – but also enjoy a beer, fries, or ice cream on occasion with no guilt.
Lift Heavier Weights at least Once Per Week
I started slightly increasing my weights a few weeks ago and I’m already realizing how much I enjoy and benefit from it. When I say heavier weights, I don’t mean 100-lb barbells – instead, venturing beyond the comfortable 10-15 lb dumbbells for 20-30 lb weights for now. Surprisingly, I despise strength training significantly less (even enjoy it a bit) when the focus is on less reps with a heavier weight – surprising, because I prefer endurance over speed when it comes to running, so I always assumed I would prefer high reps over heavy reps in strength training.
Grow My Coaching Business
I absolutely love working with other runners in helping them achieve their goals through sustainable, effective, and fun training. My business is growing and I’m still open for more athletes! More than anything, I am so incredibly proud of and motivated by my athletes and the hard work that each puts into her training.
Linking up with Thinking Out Loud!
I’ll be taking tomorrow (Friday July 1) and Monday, July 4th off from blogging. Be sure to follow me on Instagram or Facebook to keep up with any hiking and running adventures over the weekend. I’ll be back on Tuesday with my weekly workout recap and wish a safe and fun holiday weekend to my American and Canadian readers!
How often do you reassess your goals throughout the year?
What did you achieve this month? What progress did you make towards your goals?
What are your plans for the holiday weekend?