Thursday, November 17, 2005

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!


Blogger speedygeoff said...


3:24 pm  
Blogger Robert Song said...

I hear Luck Legs has a coach she raves about. She maybe able to pass his details on to you.

12:21 am  
Anonymous wannabecoach said...


You know I have always wanted to coach. I am available. I gained all of my knowledge making similar mistakes as you.

9:12 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Robert, LL's coach knows too much about my running ;) Besides, coaches often consult other coaches.

It's been suggested I drop the speedwork from my schedule while building my weekly base of kilometres back to where I need it.

This I'll do for the next 4-6 weeks, just doing a shorter track race for speedwork.

wannabe, if only we'd made all our mistakes in the first 5 years of running. I now claim I make mine on purpose to see what happens and gain even more experience!

4:57 pm  
Blogger Stu said...

Ewen, a good post, sometimes it is hard to select goals that are achieveable, but also a challenged. As you may know I have had a very good year with my goals, having nearly completed every one of them, just the BIG to goal. Sub 40...

All the best with finding goals that meet your needs in 2006.

10:37 am  

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