My Running Goals for 2016

Running Goals for 2016 | This Runner's Recipes

Last week I talked about being bold yet realistic (and realistic doesn’t mean being unambitious!) about your goals. Bold and realistic are the two words which I want to describe my goals for 2016. Bold, because you all know I like to dream and give my all towards a goal; realistic, because this will not be the year of a 1:29 half marathon or hiking the entire Pacific Crest Trail, even though those goals do appear on my lifetime list.

Naturally, I have goals beyond this list, since life consists of so much more than running. I want to volunteer, expand my freelance writing portfolio/have work published on some major sites, read more, in addition to other goals. 

Each month I’ll check in and share my progress on these goals, and I thank all of you, my wonderful readers, for all the support you’ve already given me! I love this community and am utterly and deeply grateful for each of you, especially your kind and supportive comments on yesterday’s post!

Running Goals for 2016: What Will You Achieve?

I want to also hear about your goals and how I can help you achieve them. As I’ve said before, the sole purpose of This Runner’s Recipes is not about me; it’s about helping other runners overcome perceived limitations, train smartly, and run their personal best, whether that personal best is finishing their first 5K or qualifying for the Olympic Marathon Trials. In addition to all these personal goals articulated below, one of my tops 2016 goals is to help YOU achieve your goals. 

Running Goals for 2016

Run a Sub-1:40 Half Marathon

This was on my list of 2015 goals and I did not achieve it. I only raced one half marathon in 2015, but there’s a nearly year-round stream of half marathons on the Eastside of Seattle, which lends well to pursuing this goal. The Lake Sammamish Half is my goal race for the spring and I’d be thrilled to get as close to 1:39:xx as possible there. It’s an ideal race for me: cool temperatures and a flat course.

Additionally, I intend to sign up for the Leavenworth Half Marathon in early October. The fact that this race is the opening event for the Leavenworth Oktoberfest only makes me want to run it even more. Leavenworth is a net downhill race, so it could be a good one for a PR, although I probably won’t train hard for it, as the focus then will be on hiking.

PR in the Marathon

Maybe this PR will punch my ticket to Boston, maybe it won’t (or perhaps it will and I still won’t get into Boston). Regardless, I would like to a strong and faster marathon at the Jack and Jill Marathon in North Bend, WA in July. The race is net downhill and, even though it’s in July, it’s in the cool mountain air, so it could be a good BQ course, but if I learned anything at the Portland Marathon, it’s that so many obstacles can arise over 26.2 miles. Instead of setting my sights on a very specific time goal, I want to run a personal best, which is so much more than just a time, not a best according to an arbitrary and external standard. 

Running Goals for 2016 | This Runner's Recipes

Hike the Snoqualmie Pass to Stevens Pass Portion of the Pacific Crest Trail.

If you’re a regular reader, then you know Ryan and I caught quite the hiking bug since we moved to the Pacific Northwest in May. The Snoqualmie Pass to Stevens Pass portion of the PCT spans 75 miles and 16,000 feet of elevation gain. The logistics of this one will be a bit difficult and we will need to make sure we carve off enough vacation time for this, but Ryan and I are both itching and eager to hike this. After watching Wild and following one of Ryan’s college friends on social media as he hiked the entire thing, neither of us can stop talking about it.  The PCT is luring us with its siren song and the proximity of this portion and our familiarity with both Stevens Pass and Snoqualmie Pass makes it an excellent starting point.

Master Nutrition and Hydration for Races

After repeatedly reviewing and analyzing what could have caused my stomach cramps at the Portland Marathon, I narrowed it down to two factors: (1) a GI issue that I’ve been taking medication for which was (2) exacerbated by not getting enough electrolytes. My stomach has been behaving better since I minimized my consumption of beans, milk, tomatoes, and cruciferous vegetables, so hopefully that won’t be an issue during racing. Now, I just need to master fueling and hydrating, especially in terms of electrolyte.

I did not take any Nuun in the hours or the day before the race because, honestly, I just hadn’t been enjoying Nuun lately nor was it agreeing with my stomach. I really wanted Nuun to work, since I was an ambassador for their amazing company and so grateful for that opportunity, but I also know that I cannot stick with a product if it doesn’t work for me. I cut out Nuun completely a few weeks ago and am searching for an alternative electrolyte source. I’m also wondering if GUs aren’t the best for my stomach: they work well for training, but seem a bit too harsh during the stress of race day. I ran my first race using Hammer gels, so I’m considering returning to those and using SaltStick or EnduroPacks.

Grow My Coaching Business

Over the course of this month, I have participated in Marketing Academy for Endurance Coaches with the brilliant Heather over at FitAspire to learn how to market and grow my run coaching business (and I highly recommend it to any bloggers/coaches out there!). In 2016, I hope to put these principles into practice and cultivate a client base of runners who want to achieve their personal best, whether that’s running their first race or first marathon, earning a PR, or qualifying for Boston. My first focus will be on getting clients to coach individually; from there, I want to develop downloadable training plans as my most basic level of coaching and eventually put together training groups and write another e-book.

Want to work with me as your running coach to achieve your running goals for 2016? Email me at [email protected] and visit my coaching page for more information!

Expand My Pilates Practice

I am in a bit of a rut with my Pilates practice, as in, I’ve been doing the same five Pilates DVDs since college. I also heavily followed the Gaiam school of Pilates and am curious to try other styles. In 2016, I want to try different schools of Pilates (particularly Stott Pilates) and incorporate new Pilates workouts into my weekly training. Additionally, I want to stay consistent in doing Pilates at least once a week, unlike last year where I would skip Pilates for a few weeks at a time. 

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What are your 2016 goals and your plans for achieving them?
How can I help you achieve your goals in 2016?

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26 Responses

  1. I’ve been thinking about my 2016 goals a lot for the last few months. Truthfully, it scares the crap out of me to even think of something big. 2015 was supposed to be my big year and it blew up in my face. I’ve got really think about the direction I want to go!

    1. I honestly think that 2016 can be your big year! 2015 was rough for you, but you came out of it stronger, wiser, and more determined. I’m excited to see what direction you choose and what goals you set!

  2. These are great goals for next year! I am carrying over my running goals too (sub 1:40 half and a BQ) but I also need to really think about what else I want to work towards in 2016. I was glad I had other goals on my list in 2015 that I was able to achieve, because its not all about time goals. Looking forward to following your progress next year!

    1. Thank you! I’m really excited to follow your progress next year – you finished 2015 with so many PRs! I agree, it’s good to set non-time goals, because experiences often matter more than time. As a numbers person, though, one time goal inevitably sneaks its way onto my list!

  3. I love how you’re defining goals as both ambitious and realistic! How can you go wrong? You have some great ones here and let’s hope we can BOTH master the fueling and hydration for training and races. Thank you for the link back and here’s to a year of dreaming BIG!!!

    1. Thank you! I hope we can both master fueling and hydration and then get those marathons we’ve worked for! I’m definitely going to check out Enduropacks once my long runs start picking up after reading your review. Here’s to a year of dreaming big and running our best!

  4. All such great, and diverse, goals. I love that you aren’t just focusing on the numbers but are also going after qualitative goals. I would love to get back on my feet and have an injury free year for the first time in a long time.

    1. Thank you! I’m so numbers-oriented that it’s a shift for me, but 2016 will be the year of experiences, as I learned in 2015 that you can miss a goal but still enjoy the experience. I hope you’re able to have an injury-free year in 2016!

  5. I love your goals! I can’t wait to watch you achieve each and every one of them. My big goal for next year is to complete my third marathon. Like you, I don’t really have a goal time, just want to do my best and have a good training cycle.

    1. Thank you! I’m excited for your marathon and your goals this year – I think you’re going to run a great race and having the goal of doing your best is a phenomenal goal – this is a sport in which we compete against ourselves! If you want a coach, just let me know 🙂

  6. Is it weird that I’ve been looking forward to this post since you mentioned it last week? LOL. As a fellow goal lover I’m sure you understand!

    I think you have some great and achievable goals, and I think it’s smart that not all of your running goals are focused on specific finish times. It really sounds like you have applied the lessons you learned last year in setting your goals. I think you will be a lot happier not having a rigid time goal for your next marathon. It allows a lot more room to find success and to possibly surprise yourself as well.

    I’m trying something new this year and only focusing on one big goal at a time. Right now, my only big goal for 2016 is the PIttsburgh Marathon. I want to run a 3:40, a 6 minute PR, but I’ll be delighted with a PR/sub 3:45 so I can time qualify for the Chicago Marathon. Part of me yearns to have a loftier goal like I did last year, but my gut tells me I am just not ready. Not on a hard course like Pittsburgh that has the potential to be a little warm. Plus, I just don’t want to go through the emotional turmoil that comes with those big goals. I haven’t made a decision yet, but, I am also considering the possibility of training for a half marathon PR next fall. I struggle with that distance, and I think I have a lot of potential. I believe I am capable of a FAST time if I really train for the distance. Can’t make any commitments yet but it is on my radar! If I decide to go through with it, I will be setting a BIG goal for myself!

    1. I get the same way also! I love reading posts on people’s goals and get so excited for them! And thank you – it’s a shift for me as a numbers person, but shifts like that are key to success. I think you’re smart to focus on one goal at a time – live in the moment of the training and the race! I definitely think you can run a 3:45, even a 3:40 – you have the talent for it! And I’ve said what I think about the half – you truly could run a FAST half with the right training!

  7. I want the sub-3 marathon, hands-down without a doubt. I want it so bad. If I don’t get it in 2016 then I’ll try for 2017 but I’m getting close to 40 and I don’t want to gamble with nature too much! Speaking of which, my realistic goal for 2016 is to focus on eating healthier. I really really need to eat more fruit and veggies.

    1. A sub-3 you definitely will achieve – you have the talent and the determination! I have the utmost faith that you can achieve whatever you set your mind to 🙂 Do you have a marathon in mind for 2016? And more fruits and veggies is a perpetual goal of mine, so we will work towards that together! 🙂

  8. I love the hamer gel in raspberry! I switched to hammer gels this fall from using jelly beans and I am much happier. Easy on the stomach too, at least for me. We are all so different that it’s hard to say for sure what will work for someone else. I am also working on hydrating better for long runs.

    1. I used to use their apple cinnamon flavor and loved that! The raspberry flavor is good also. I’m glad to hear to that the Hammer gels worked well for you – I really hope they work well for me and my stomach.

  9. Such great goals, Laura and I love how you stress the importance of setting bold yet realistic goals. I think its important to challenge ourselves but to also honor where we’re at because there is so much to learn in the process. In 2016 I plan to continue to run half marathons and am going to start training for my first of the year in February. Its a trail race which I haven’t done before so I’m looking forward to that!

    1. Thank you, Angie! I definitely agree on the learning and growing process, and it’s something I’m appreciating more as I mature as a runner. That’s so exciting about a trail race – training for that will be really fun and offer a new challenge!

  10. Yes bold and realistic is the ideal combo! I’m still thinking through my goals… not sure if I want to add a marathon this year or not. But I love goal setting and am looking forward to putting my post together, too. I’m excited for you to go after your goals!

    1. Thank you! I’m excited to see what goals you have for 2016 – you had a such a great racing season in 2015 and I know that a half marathon PR is right around the corner for you!

  11. I’d still love to run Boston, but a BQ isn’t on my goal list for 2016. I’m looking forward to slowing down and enjoying some destination races. That doesn’t mean I won’t do some local races at race pace, tho! I’ve only got Big Sur for my marathon distance. The rest of the year…we’ll see.

    I hope you figure out that nutrition piece. I love nuun, but I don’t fuel with it. I’ve had good luck with Tailwind, but you have to carry it with your for the entire race.

    1. I think that’s a fantastic goal – those will be amazing experiences for you! I’m already excited to see all of your photos of Big Sur. And thank you – I loved nuun also and get bummed that it doesn’t work for me. I’m trying Enduropacks, but I’ll keep tailwind in mind – thanks for the suggestion!

  12. It looks like you have some awesome goals! Both of those half marathons sound awesome, and so does the marathon. Good luck with everything! PS I just hired a coach, but I’ll let other runners know you’re looking for new clients!

    1. Thank you so much, Kristen – I really appreciate that! The races out here in Washington are really awesome, if you are looking for some here to do! A good luck with the coach – so glad you’re back and running!

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