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A year is a long time in running

Well, well, well… It’s been a looooong year, but here we are, at the very end of it. I thought I would reflect on some of my running goals, the peaks and troughs, and what running resolutions I might set for 2017.

So how did it go? All in all, I don’t think it was a bad year. There wasn’t a lot of progress in pacing, per se, but I was a lot steadier and more consistent in getting out for runs, and I had some really good months (unsurprisingly during the summer).

Volume Highlight Lowlight
January 32.4 km over 4:51 across 6 runs It’s hard to remember this far back… The usual New Year weather blues!
February 94km over 8:31 across 16 runs Picking up training volume again, including a 54:23 10k The number of runs that are just shy of 5k
March 90.4km over 8:13 across 14 runs First 10k+ run (13.7km in 1:13) That my average pace starts a slow decline here
April 94.2km over 9:06 across 15 runs Steady as she goes… Noticeable pace decrease, including two 10ks (57 and 59)
May 131.8km over 12:05 across 13 runs Two half-marathons (first ever at 1:57, second at 1:58) That I was too cheap to pay for the Runner’s World app training…
June 91km over 8:16 across 12 runs I at least managed an 8-miler I couldn’t face a long long-run this month, having done halves in May
July 112.82km over 10:06 across 17 runs A good increase in the number of runs Quantity =/= distance
August 136.4km over 12:25 across 22 runs Still on the up, including some 10-milers and some 8-milers Average pace is down, though…
September 113.1km over 10:47 across 19 runs Holding fairly steady and enjoying the sunshine Only one 8-miler
October 60km over 5:32 across 12 runs Despite travel and moving house, I’m still managing a few runs a week Most runs now pretty short
November 70.75km over 6:29 across 15 runs Got in a 10k and a 5-miler Pace is still trending down
December 76.18km over 7:05 across 14 runs Starting to pull back up again, distance-wise  Still a bit slower

I have found myself slightly frustrated with Strava after discovering that it didn’t have the delightful Excel download feature of RunKeeper, so pulling together my stats was a bit of a hassle. I’m going to have to think about whether I try Nike+ Run Club (which I think lets you download stats), or the paid-for version of Strava.

Highlights

  • The two half-marathons I did, just by myself.

I’m happy that my first one ever was supposed to be a 10-miler that I just pushed on with, and it came in sub-2:00. But the fact that I only managed two and then my half-marathon-a-month plan fell apart is indicative of a fairly basic fact: I’m not that interested in longer distances.

  • Running is more part of my everyday routine than in 2015.

There was almost no week when I didn’t run at all. I had some niggles, like shoulder cramps (yep, a weird one) or tight ankles, but still trundled on when and how I could.

Lowlights

  • That the half-marathon-a-month plan fell by the wayside so easily.

I’m partly baffled by quite why this happened, and partly glad that it helped clarify quite what I’m running for.

  • That I still haven’t figured out how best to get speed workouts into my routine.

I do these workouts intermittently, when I’m feeling guilty or in a clear rut. If I want to “progress”, which I guess means getting faster,  then I need to take these more seriously, as well as strength training, etc.

  • That my pacing seems to have decreased.

If this is a function of running longer, then it’s disappointing that I haven’t picked up a great deal across the year, which may reinforce the point above about speed workouts.

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