It's time to pick some arbitrary numbers out of a discarded running shoe and assign them to my list of objectives for the coming year. Each year I compile a "Betterment for Viper" action plan, and running is always a significant portion of my "Health & Hobby" section. While these goals set the parameters for my running hopes in 2012, this post will build upon that framework.
My primary running goals for 2012, therefore, are thus:
1,000533 miles for the year (REV. 10/1/12)
- Run a race barefoot
- Purge excess running gear
Barefoot race: I've steadily increased my barefoot running each year, and I think it's time to take the next step and enter competition without footwear. This will necessitate a secondary goal of continuing to increase my overall barefoot mileage. This race will likely be in the realm of three to eight miles, depending on what's out there.
Purge, purge, purge: There's nothing like moving to show you how much extra crap you have. Mrs. Viper and I compiled six large trash bags, two boxes and a few loose items that we donated to Goodwill. In addition, I finally pitched some old running shoes. I plan to eliminate the running stuff I don't use every spring and fall, whether it's trash or donation.
Wait, there's more: On top of these three simple goals, I have a few more objectives in terms of training, races, and general fitness. I've already started laying out my training plan for my two main target races for 2012: the Buckeye Half and the Akron Marathon.
Training: So far, my training plan for the Akron Marathon starts earlier, includes more mileage, and is designed to prepare my body for another run at a personal best. My training plan includes a base training phase, which I've always kind left to chance in the past, and now plan to use to get up to double-digit long runs before the real training begins, making my usual 16-week schedule now 20 weeks. The plan also includes four 20-milers and two 50-mile peak weeks.
Races: While 2011 was a year of being OK with not approaching new PRs, 2012 will be a year of seeking new heights. My primary plan includes training for two races at the same time. The half and full marathons are my targets, with a goal to break 1:44:15 at the Buckeye and 3:58:46 at Akron. My yet-to-be decided barefoot race will have no time goal. Any goals for additional races will be determined case by case.
Fitness: Despite my lack of running this year, my recent forays into strength training have been rewarding. While I have no specific goals, I would like to complete at least one "cross training" strength workout each week. And well, I guess that is a specific goal, isn't it?
And there you have it. I think these goals have a nice mix of specific and general goals to help guide my running in the next year. However, maybe the best goal is to carry over the lessons I've learned this year, such as learning to be OK with sub-awesome race performances, enjoying the community of runners, and all those happy horse piles.