After a rather disappointing August, I have to remind myself running is a long term process. The gains are not immediate and I have to keep looking ahead. In other words, time to think a bit and write down some goals for the near and far future.
While August started positive enough, things soon took a turn for the worse. After the race on the first Saturday, I took a week off, as planned. I had been battling some annoying niggles in my left shin area and hoped to get rid of them once and for all. I went back into things the week after and all went fine. During my first run in the fourth week of August however, a speed workout, I did something weird to my hip. While sprinting up an incline, suddenly I felt some tissue (tendons? IT band? I do not exactly know what is there) shift over my left hipbone, followed by pain. I had to abandon the speed workout, but was 6-7 km from home, which I had to run still. Not the greatest experience. Two days later, I was an idiot and did my 14 km run commute despite feeling the pain from the start. I figured it would blow over. Once I finished that run, I realised I
- Should not have run it.
- Should take some days off now.
Those days turned into a week. This morning I went for a first careful run of about 5 km. The pain had disappeared, but there was still some uncomfortableness. I hope it will clear up completely in the next few days, I will have to remain attentive in what I do. Needless to say, August was not a good month for my running. I only ran 150 km in August, compared to 288 km in July. This is what led me to write this post.
In a sport that demands compulsion, sometimes the hardest task is having the confidence to rest.
– Chris Lear in “Running with the Buffaloes”
There is no point in running through injury to get that extra training in, if that means getting sidelined for much longer. Everyone has probably heard variations of it over time, but it remains true. Improving in running takes time. To put that into clearer perspective for myself, I reckoned I needed to think properly about my short and long term running goals.
The short term goals are goals I would like to focus on in the coming months or year. They are ones I think, hope, I will achieve within the year. The long term goals are more general directions that I think I will want to take my training in afterwards. Just ideas, in a way, but also ideas that will make me want to keep thinking about what the future still has to offer once I get through my current goals.
These are ordered in how I currently envision tackling them. Nothing is set in stone, of course.
- Sub 40 minute 10k. My 5k PR seems to indicate I should be capable of this, though reality has, so far, not agreed. This is currently my main goal I want to train for.
- 70 km a week consistently with at least:
- a long run, set it at just 21.1 km because people care about this distance?
- a tempo run, to keep you from slacking
- a run with strides, to keep some speed in the legs
- Sub 18 minute 5k. I am actually not 100% sure I want to make this a conscious goal just yet. I do not feel like Brussels has some good flat exactly 5k races. This complicates the goal for no good reason. The alternative is to train for it and then give it a try on the track. Not quite as exciting.
These are more things that I feel would be nice to work towards eventually. It is still too far away to consider any order.
- 100k a week consistently. As the girlfriend reminds me often enough: I really do not run that much yet. Let’s shut her up :)
- Sub 1h25 20k. I had hoped to manage that this year, but failed. No harm done, I will just continue trying to improve and eventually hopefully get there.
- Sub 1h20 20k. This one is obviously a bit more long term, but I feel it should still be in the realm of possibility. I will need more endurance for it (hence the 100k weeks goal?).
- Win a race. This will depend partially on having some luck about who shows up to the race. There are some really fast people out there that I know I will never be able to beat. Grabbing first when they are not around is fine by me though.
- Take the time out to set PBs for shorter distances, using a track. Would be nice to compare to in the future.