Updated 2016 Running Goals

June 2016 Goals Check In and Yearly Goals Update

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

Updated 2016 Running Goals

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. 

June Running Goals Update

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.

June Running Goals Update

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? 

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26 Responses

  1. Thats very smart to adjust your goals halfway through the year! I am planning to post my goal updates tomorrow, and its always though to do when you have had setbacks. I would be interested to see what types of form drills you do. I also overstride and have terrible hip extension.
    Have a great holiday weekend!

    1. Thank you! I’m excited to read your post update tomorrow. I agree that goals are trickier with setbacks, especially with injuries that are healing but require long-term caution.
      For drills I’m starting with butt kicks, high knees, skips, and carioca to work on my turnover. Then I’m going to add in hill sprints because I’ve read that those help with both overstriding and hip extension. Plus, lots of hamstring work – ball curls, single leg Romanian deadlifts, and back extensions. Hope you have a great holiday weekend!

  2. 80/20 for the win! I know that a half marathon PR is off the table for me right now (they probably won’t want me upsetting my constitution, if you know what I mean), and also, it would take me probably a good year to get back there in terms of speed. That is a bit disheartening, but what can you do?
    Have an AMAZING weekend, Laura! I can’t wait to stalk you on IG 😀

    1. You do what you can do! And that speed will be there in due time – and in the meanwhile, you get to enjoy the journey 🙂 You have an amazing weekend as well, Susie! I can’t wait to stalk you on IG, especially because your eats always make me have food envy!

  3. I think it’s so smart to reassess your goals halfway through the year. Your goals are all impressive and I hope you’re able to achieve them! 🙂 As long as I run at least one mile today (3 miles on the schedule), June will be my first 100+ mile month ever. I am training for my first marathon and embracing higher mileage so I’m adequately prepared in October. This weekend we are going to Chicago to visit some friends–not sure of specifics yet, but I’m sure it will be fun! Have a great weekend!

    1. Thank you Denise! Congrats on your first 100+ mile month – that’s a huge accomplishment and you should be proud! A first marathon is so exciting – good luck in training! What marathon are you training for?

  4. Very smart of you to adjust goals midway through the year. You’re right, so much can change in a few months, so when I see people setting all these goals for the entire year before January 1 I always wonder how that’s going to end up for them. I also think it’s very wise of you not to hold yourself to any specific time goals for your marathon. I mean, as long as your training goes well and you don’t have race day issues you will almost certainly PR, and I would hate to have you not feel like that’s a victory just because it’s not a 3:30 or whatever.

    I don’t really have any huge goals for the year…hmm…I would love to place in one of my 10Ks this fall, but that’s a hard goal to make for someone with no race-for-the-win experience because so much of that is not really up to me.

    1. Thank you, Hanna! Yeah, I agree with the goal setting. My goals always have flexibility to them and I’m fine letting them go. I mean, three years ago my goal was to get a PhD…yeah, that didn’t happen and is the furthest thing from a goal now! So goals are good sort of guiders for helping us focus on what we want to achieve (who we want to become).
      I bet you have a good chance of placing in your age group! It can be tricky because you never know who’s going to show up on race day, but it’s fun to race against others. I can’t wait to tap into all of that speed potential that you have for the 10K!

  5. Are those homemade french fries in the picture with your salad? If so…what is your secret?!?!?!?! Thus far, I have been a little unsuccessful with mastering the “perfect” homemade french fry (and I do not own a deep fryer…and do not necessarily want to).

    Love reading about your reassessment. I think that is an important aspect to goal setting, as well!

    1. I’ll have to share the recipe on the blog soon! I don’t fry them – that’s too unhealthy for frequent eating for Ryan’s and my nutrition goals and the oil can be rough on my stomach. I bake/broil mine and use just a bit of olive oil. And thank you! 🙂

  6. I’ve reassessed as my first month of marathon training comes to a close, and I think I’ll continue to do so as time goes on with your help! Congratulations on achieving your half PR- I’m sure the marathon is soon to come.

  7. I think it is natural and normal for goals to change and June is a great time to reevaluate – halfway through the year! I also have learned that while it is hard to let go of goals I have made, if they no longer excite me or I no longer find much value in them, there is little point in pursuing them.

    Long weekend in Canada, I have planned hiking, a float plane trip to Victoria, running, and a baseball game!

  8. Great goals!
    I want to be able to run strong and finish happily at this year’s marathon too. It will be our second full marathon and now that we kinda know what to expect (course wise), I think I won’t be thinking about where is the turnaround, where am I, how much longer do I have….
    I always wonder how runners can reach 180 cadence- mine is averaging 177-178 and I know it’s pretty darn close but i feel like I am taking super short steps!
    Good luck with your training and I will be doing the same too 🙂

    1. Thank you Eri! Congrats on training for your second marathon – how exciting! Familiarity with the course does help a lot – you can achieve the sort of “flow” of getting into a good pace so much more easily. That’s a pretty good cadence! Cadence can be tricky because you want to balance it with stride length (since pace is affected by both cadence and stride length). Quick steps with power and drive from the hips/glutes is what I like to think. I hope your training goes well – which marathon are you training for? 🙂

      1. I’m training for the Honolulu marathon! There’s not that many marathons on this island and if we want to others, then we’ll have to fly so that’s very hard to do with our work, kids, etc. (excuses?! Haha)

        I haven’t thought too much about stride length so I will do more research on my form! I really want to enjoy this marathon but not walk so much like I did last year.

        1. That’s so exciting! I bet that course is beautiful – Hawaii doesn’t sound like too bad of an island to be on 😉 Runner’s Connect is a knowledgeable resource on running form and stride cadence/length – these articles have been very helpful for me: https://runnersconnect.net/running-injury-prevention/what-does-good-running-form-feel-like/ and https://runnersconnect.net/running-injury-prevention/hip-drive-running-stride/ .
          Also, if you’re interested in working with a coach for your marathon to help you achieve your goals, I’m currently taking new athletes (and I love to work with marathoners!). 🙂

  9. I’m trying to lift heavier weights too with less reps, and just like you I’m surprised I like it more! I think it’s just mentally easier knowing I can do less, although I’m working harder. I’ve actually started getting into Pure Barre, which I love! Have a great weekend Laura!

    1. Thank you Jen! Yay for heavier weights! I think you’re right that it is mentally easier – and the workout is shorter so it’s easier to balance with running and other exercises. How fun that you’ve gotten into Pure Barre also. Hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend, Jen!

  10. I tend to overstride, and it was really interesting to me that after pool running before Big Sur, I had a huge improvement in my stride. I was more efficient and my feet didn’t hurt–i must have been landing a little less on my heels, I think. I’ve been backsliding since then, and yep, the PF has returned. So it’s back to the pool again. Funny how those old habits refuse to die!

    1. That is super interesting about how pool running improved your stride! I can see how pool running can be beneficial in strengthening the hips and glutes. It is funny how we fall into the same form – it’s a hard and continual process.

  11. A double major AND a double minor? And a Masters? QUEEN OF THE WORLD. I’ll do anything you suggest with that kind of knowledge background!

    1. Lol you are too sweet! It wasn’t hard with the subjects I studied, liberal arts don’t have as many credit requirements as sciences. I still found the time to run a lot even then!

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