Autumn Watch

It isn’t autumn just yet, but the storm strength winds which have been recently blowing through have littered the paths, roads, and trails with leaves, giving the sense that although it may not actually be here, it is most definitely on the way. 

It has been a strange summer. Early in the year I was expecting to be racing a lot, but I’ve not raced at all. Even stranger is the fact that we’re only just getting back to squad training. It is, however, what it is. I’m not the only one experiencing the weirdness, and it is worth keeping in mind (as things gather some kind of normalcy again) that there is a strong chance we aren’t out of the woods just yet. 

Whatever happens though, as long as I stay fit and healthy, there will be running. It would be nice to set some concrete racing targets, but once again I’ve got to reiterate – it is what it is. Maybe I’ll find some small events to race in. Maybe I won’t. I can’t let it define my season.

So what are my race-regardless targets for September through November? I’ve never really set down my goals on paper (or digitally) before, so this is a first for me.

Priority one is consistency. My current weekly mileage is sitting around 50 a week, with cross training on top of that. But as of writing I’ve only done that for a couple of weeks, so I want to keep that ticking over nicely (with the occasional drop week), slowly progressing to a consistent 60 by the time we’re into the winter months. 

Secondly, before things get too cold, I want to get a few good road times in. Starting short, I’m aiming for a sub-5 mile. I believe I’ve already got that in the locker, but getting it out of there is a different story. I have two weeks off work coming up, and I want to nail that mile time in that period. If I do, and I think I will, I want to go sub-17:30 in the 5k. I should also do a 10k time trial as I’ve been meaning to get to that for a while. My goal time there is 37 minutes – or at least maintaining a sub-6 minute a mile average. 

Thirdly, and finally, I want to keep up this sense of adventure that I have been experiencing  recently. I want to run fresh trails, see new things, and climb more hills. This is a more subjective goal of course, but I want my enjoyment of running to always be at the forefront of my mind. It is great to get quicker, to nail times, and just generally feel like a fitter, stronger runner, but I won’t last if I’m not having fun. Exploring, and connecting with nature, is a simple way to ensure that I’m always motivated to lace up, day after day. 

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