Writing a 2017 goals post is a bit cliché-tastic, but I always try to write down my yearly aims and one of my goals for this year is to blog more, so, two birds one stone and all that.
So, I guess I should start with the big one:
Run a sub-4 hour marathon at the London Marathon. I’ve blogged about this recently and explained why I’ve set this target, and this is definitely my my number one goal for the year. All of my training for the past two months, and the upcoming 16 weeks (shit, that’s soon) is focused on this goal. It’s the target I’ll be most disappointed not to reach, and the one I’ll be proudest of if I reach it.
I’ve got a few other running ambitions too, which I’ll focus on after London, but will give a good bash along the way as well. The sub-7 mile has eluded me for a while, and with my current PB at 7.07, it is tantalisingly close. Ditto the sub-50 10k. With a 5k PB of 23.44 it should be well within my reach, but I just need a race where it all comes together in order to improve on my 50.51 PB and be able to cross that one off my list.
Sticking with the physical theme, I continued with my strength work in 2016, although not as religiously as previously. During the latter part of the year, my focus became less aesthetics-orientated – a six-pack was no longer the be all and end all – and became more about functional strength, and helping me become a stronger runner. My aim for 2017 is to carry on building ‘running strength’ – which will involve a lot more leg and glute work, as well as continuing to build on my upper body gaiiiiinz . I’ve bought a set of dumbbells and will probably set myself some smaller, weight-orientated goals in order to keep track of progress.
The biggest thing I need to change in order to get stronger though, is my relationship with food. It’s not a subject I’ve spoken about properly before and is a blog post for another day, but in short, I struggle to take in enough food to fuel my runs and workouts. This needs to change this year, so I’m going to make a real effort to fuel and nourish myself better.
Sitting alongside this is my aim to eat less processed sugar. I’m not going to cut down on fruit, but do want to reduce the amount of processed nastiness I eat. Not least because I notice a strong correlation between my anxiety and sugar levels. Simply put, when I eat less sugar, I’m calmer. My brain doesn’t cope well with the ups and downs that come with sugar spikes – maybe because the physical symptoms are similar to anxiety ones – but whatever the cause, it just isn’t good for me.
On a similar theme, I’m going to start making sleep a priority. This, combined with using the Headspace app every day, should give me a strong foundation to continue coping with my anxiety.
I know 2016 was a bit of a shitter on the whole, but for me it was actually pretty good. Not least because I realised my long-held dream of having my writing published in a running magazine; with the column to continue throughout 2017. I’m thrilled and proud beyond belief and am incredibly grateful to RunABC for their faith in me. In 2017 I hope to continue growing my writing career, with the ultimate aim of making it my full-time job. (If you know of any writing opportunities going, gimme a shout…)
So that’s it. 2017 mapped out in front of me like a dot-to-dot drawing – if I can get all of the lines joined up it’s going to end up as one hell of a pretty picture.
Lets do this.