New Year Goal Setting

By Iffley Road. Posted: December 31, 2014

While January is a natural time for goal setting, the best goals are ones which last the whole year. It’s easy for our New Year running resolutions to be abandoned. Our running can go stale and become a chore. Goal setting helps. Particularly if your goals are about more than just performance.

  1. Seeking out new routes is a great way to keep your running fresh. However well you think you know your neighbourhood you’ll be surprised at how much there is still to discover. Even after 30 years of running in Richmond Park we still find the odd trail we’ve never run on before.

  2. Remember to enjoy the surroundings. Urban, parkland or open countryside – running is the perfect way to reconnect with the world around us.

  3. Run with friends. Running can be a really social activity as we bond through training and racing together.

  4. Introducing others to the joys of running is a great New Year objective. How many of us started running through the persistent enthusiasm of a friend?

Performance based goals certainly have their place too, the simpler the better. Here are three of our favourite. All emphasise quality over mileage. They work solo or with friends. None require more than a watch.

  1. To run a negative split on an out and back course. We tend to go out for about 20 minutes, including 5 minutes warm up then a moderate 15. Coming back we increase the pace gradually over the entire return leg.

  2. To improve your hill climbing. The idea is simplicity itself – attack every hill on your route. Concentrate on form. Shorten the stride and drive the arms. Keep attacking for a good 20 paces beyond the top of the hill.

  3. To vary pace. Fartlek, “speed play”, should be one of your staple sessions. Build sprints into your run using natural marks – between lampposts, from the junction to the bridge etc. Try to vary the distances and speeds – from eyeballs out blasts of around 30 seconds to a more sustained surge of several minutes.

We hope running continues to enhance your life throughout 2015 – happy New Year!


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