2023: goals and how it’s going
It’s Sunday 3 September 2023, about two-thirds of the way through 2023. Time to take stock of how the year is going.
I started out with a target to run 1400km in 2023. To meet that I need to run an average of 3.8km a day across the year — or 26.9km a week.
So far I have run 884km in 2023, which averages 3.6km a day so far — or 25.2km a week.
How far I’ve run each month so far:
- January: 121.1 km
- February: 99.7km
- March: 111km
- April: 108.1km
- May: 131.2km
- June: 103.6km
- July: 120km
- August: 78.3km
A couple of days back, at the end of August, I felt 78.3km was my worst running month for a long long time. I checked my records and found it wasn’t. I ran less than that last year — 2022 — in five months: December, August, July, February and January. Heck, even December 2021. So, last month wasn’t great, but it wasn’t as bad as I felt. But just 78.3km still feels rubbish. It’s definitely my worst running month of 2023. And despite those low distance five months last year I totalled 1372km for the year.
A little further digging into my running habits show when I am at home: I do the bulk of my running on Monday through Thursday. Weekends, especially when I have dog/s about, my running pretty much vanishes. A reminder to myself: I run half to keep my weight in check, which keeps my diabetes in check. Three or four runs over the first four days of the week and then nothing for the last three days of the week isn’t balanced. Some earlier analysis, from June
Things that have been good about the year so far
I’ve travelled a bit this year and managed to run on every trip away, which is just a fab way to explore somewhere.
- Barcelona 1
- Barcelona 2
- Ticking off some more London bridges
- …twice in one weekend
- Porto 1
- Porto 2
- Porto 3
I ran two marathons, my first two marathons:
- Manchester marathon
- Glasgow marathon
- Raising over £1500 for Samaritans in just over a month from running the Glasgow marathon
Despite whinging about August I spent the whole month running without headphones, just taking in the sounds of what was around me. That was more relaxing than always having the radio or a podcast on during runs.
A couple of weeks back I went back to basics, remembering the lonely mornings recovering from my fractured leg, doing laps of a nearby sports pitch with the dog with me. Early one morning I took my dog down to a nearby cricket pitch and started on that old habit again, doing some steady laps. Some back to basics is what I need.
The next four months
Simply: I have 515.7km left to hit 1400km. If I was to track against my intended daily average for the year — 3.8km per day — I am 59km behind. That’s over analysing. 119 days left, 515km, that’s about 4.3km per day — or 30km a week. That’s what’s needed. It’s not a dramatically huge amount, this isn’t a crisis, just need some focus.
I need to run five days every week, and not bunch them all in before the weekend. And also avoid the opposite: Little running during the week which makes me think I need to force in a longer than planned run over the weekend. My running over a week should have build up: steady runs, then a faster run or a longer run, then steady, and a rest day or two in there too, then loop again.
I need to take stock on Sunday nights again. It’s a healthy spot of reflection on how the previous week-or-so of running has gone and what I want to do and can do in the week ahead. And be super realistic. If it looks like I am away with work for a day plan it as a rest day. A day with lots of family duties: Accept it’s a 5km day. Reflection and some planning is a good thing. I fell off this wagon earlier this month. Back on it.
A small way thing but a big thing: I need to get back to getting to sleep nearer 10pm than 11pm. When I wake at 6am the next day I feel fresher after eight hours of sleep. And a lack of sleep affects my concentration during the day too (so it’s not just about running).
The days are getting shorter. Enjoy the lighter mornings and evenings while they are here. In two months an early evening run will be in the dark.
And, I’ve still managed to run 884km. Time to tick through that remaining 515km.