My August running aims

Usually I like to give these big grandiose aims and then fall flat on my face when they inevitably do not happen. So I thought that this month I would set myself some smaller, more achievable aims that I could feel confident achieving. So what have I set myself for running-wise next month? Let’s have a gander, shall we?

Getting myself back to being comfortable at 10km distance

It is no secret that my running went off the boil the past two years with my times steadily going backward. I have been running more in July than I have in other months and I can see that my weight loss is starting to go in the right direction, it makes a bit of sense that I would try and get my running back up to where I want it to be again. August through to December is full of 10km races and I want to be able to run in a few of them this year. But, not only do I want to run in them, I want to run in them with comfort and not have to stop and truly struggle. It doesn’t matter how fast I am going at this time, but not stopping will be key to my motivation and seeing as some of these races are not until the end of August, it is appropriate that I get on that now and really get myself comfortable by then.

I like to train for things by running that distance if not more. It is a weird thing I do I know, but I have never been a fan of tapering as in my head I want it to know it is ready for this distance. I will talk more about tapering on Wednesday so keep an eye out for that one. But, yes, I want to get back to being able to complete a 10km with no real struggles. I hope I can get there!

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Mixing up my running

I have been trying to run faster 400/500m intervals for a week or so and I have really enjoyed it and I want to keep that going throughout August, but if I am to be race-ready, I also need to be able to get my legs prepared for other types of running and that means hitting hills and truly giving it a mix up. I used to be the type of guy who would just run the same route every day and just try and get faster, but that would not improve my running really. I need to mix it up a little and I do enjoy running hills and now with these intervals I feel I am truly getting a fuller scope of improving my running and as my running has gone a little backward over the past years, it is good to have my body learn these techniques as it gets lighter and fitter again as then (hopefully) I can be a better runner than when I was when I was at my best! Fingers crossed

Race in a couple of races

Victoria and I want to return to running in some races and August are full of good options. It is great to have someone who also wants to improve and get back to how they were and beyond as I think we can push each other a bit better. I know that my running endurance improves when I am with her as I want to keep going that bit further for her where I feel that I would have stopped earlier than I did. I think she is the same, so that type of energy should fuel us to end July well and get us going well throughout August.

I miss running in races if I am honest, I miss the buzz of a few hundred or thousand people wanting to run and improve their times or just to finish for the first time. There are so many great stories that people can tell at a race that I think it is a missed opportunity not to document them. Some people are legitimately running to finish the distance for the first time, some are running in memory of a loved one. Some who like me want to get back on track and some are there for the victory. It is such a great mix and very few sports or activities can say that. Other than maybe cycling or triathlon etc, most people are in it for the same goal. It is interesting to know that I won’t be the only one wanting to return to a better time. Running is great like that.

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Mix that running up, short hill runs like Stormont!

Try for a longer run

This is the only real one that I have a definitive goal in mind for. I want to run 9 or 10 miles in one go next month. I don’t care if I stop and start throughout it and even walk little bits of it, but I want to see that distance on my Nike Running app and feel proud of myself. It is a silly thing to aim for possibly, but I used to love running those distances and they were really my go-to distance, a bit more than a 10k, but enough of a distance to know what I would need to do for a half marathon.

Plus, I think I want to really avenge my disaster last year at the Belfast Half Marathon and getting a run it at 9 to 10 miles will be a good thing for my head, as I will know that yes I can do this and no I shouldn’t keep what happened at that race in my head. Running that longer distance could do wonders for me, it doesn’t matter how I do it, just as long as I get to that distance! Maybe I will drag Victoria along with me, but I am not sure if she would appreciate that one too much…

Well, there we have it! A few things that I want to achieve with my running in August. They aren’t massive things, but they are important to me and I think adapting goals to that criteria is going to be a positive change for me. Until next time.

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