Setting goals is not easy!
At the beginning of my running diary for 2005 I wrote down some goals I hoped to achieve this year. Looking back I now realise I didn't really give this much thought. I just picked out some numbers that looked good. These numbers included running 1500m in 5:08, 3000m in 10:58 and 5000m in 19:08.
As 2005 draws to a close it's obvious I'm nowhere near running these times. In bid to be a touch more scientific I've gone back through my diaries and found the best times I've run in the 45 to 49 age-group. I've listed these in a table in the right column of this page. I've decided I should try and better these times before aiming at anything near the stratospheric ones I picked out of thin air. The M45 PB I feel most confident of bettering is my 11:57 for 3000 metres.
I think I've been guilty of delusory optimism when it comes to my ability in the year 2005. I see women my age running sub-11 for 3000 metres and say to myself "I should be able to do that" ignoring the fact that the last time I ran that fast was ten years ago!
I've also been ignoring a body that seems unable to do the training it did to run a 3000 metres in 10:58. I can't sandwich a Wednesday long run with two solid interval sessions on Tuesday and Thursday. I've tried 'just speedwork, rest days and 10k runs' training but that doesn't work for me. I'm a person who runs poorly off low weekly mileage.
I can vividly remember a period of low-mileage training at the end of 1993 when I was training with Dave Gates. Our speedwork was fairly intense such as 8x200m in 32.5 and 6x400m in 78 seconds. I ran a tired 1500 metres at Interclub in 4:55.7. Three weeks later I was scratching my head when I could only run 10:52.8 for 3000 metres. At the beginning of 1993 I'd run 10:40 at the 3k split of a 17:59.8 5000 metres. The difference was I'd been training 100 kilometres per week at the beginning of 1993 and 65 per week at the end.
I realise I need speedwork to run well on the track. I also need more weekly kilometres than the 59 per week I've run over the last six months. The next thing I need to do is to work out a plan. Perhaps I should consult a coach!