Settling On A Goal Race

This is a short reflection on my running journey in 2019, to help me prepare for a goal race in 2020. I adapted the reflection questions from a reflection model provided in the New York Times Running Guide, aimed at helping readers plan for the 2020 Spring races.

What did I like about running in 2019?

This year marks my first attempt to run further than 21 km in a race. I ran 32 km in the Oxfitt Run II in November, and it proved to be exciting as I emerged unscathed and injury-free. It also gave me the encouragement that I can aim for a full marathon in the near future, if I keep to a training plan that allows me to clock more mileage and develop endurance.

What I also like about running this year is that I managed to score a personal best in a half marathon of 2 hours 4 minutes and 20 seconds. This was in the 2XU Compression Run held in April. This PB means I hit an average pace of 5.89 min/km during the race.

One possible contributing factor to my PB is my weight. I weigh on average about 63 kg during that month. Another factor would be the regular running sessions I had in the months leading to April. Put together, with the favourable weather conditions, I managed to hit my PB that month.

What did I not like?

I suffered from a serious bout of flu in the two weeks leading to the SG Run in October. As a result, I did not train as much for this run. Consequently, I encountered severe cramps during the race. My timing also dropped to 2 hours 44 minutes and 20 seconds. Still, this timing is much better than my first half marathon in 2018, which is slightly over 3 hours.

What this showed me is the need to 1) take care of my health by watching over my sleep, diet and physical environment conditions; and 2) to be more prepared during race day if I have not trained sufficiently for the race. While I may be unable to fend off some of the common viruses at home or in the workplace, I should take care and make sure I am well protected in the weeks leading to a race day.

This race also helped remind me of the need to prepare my cookie jar, to prep myself psychologically for a race. Doing so will reduce the anxiety I may have in completing a race under unfavourable conditions.

Do you want to be challenged?

Since my last half marathon in November, I felt I should push myself to do more than 21 km. Hence I should look for races that are longer, but these may not be full marathons for a start.

I have signed up for a 30 km race that will take place in February 2020. I hope that will help me gauge what my readiness level is for a full marathon. I would probably sign up for a full marathon in 2020. The only question is whether to sign up for one in the first half of the year, or in the second half of the year.

Once I sign up for a full marathon, I will commit to a written training plan, so that this becomes a SMART goal, not a new year resolution.

I hope this short reflection guide has helped you understand how to work towards a goal race. It has definitely helped me be clearer.

In fact, this format could be adapted for other activities too. Just substitute the word ‘running’ with other words. It’s a quick and easy guide to use.

Do share with me what will be a goal you will like to work on in 2020!

5 thoughts on “Settling On A Goal Race

  1. My goal for 2020 is to not settle for “good enough.”
    I’ve kind of settled on a narrow range of finish times for my races. If I don’t push these times down they will only get slower as I get older. My current finish times are comfortable, but I need to push while I can.
    Part of doing this will also be finally getting to my goal weight.
    In 2019, as long as I was only a few pounds over I was okay.
    No more!

    Liked by 1 person

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