2014 – A year in review


2015 – how will you run yours?

Happy New Year everyone!

Horribly clichéd these things are, I know, but they do serve a purpose to focus the mind for the next year. So, I’m looking to cover the highlights, the lowlights and the things that don’t quite fit anywhere else.

Mileage matters

2014 mileage

That’s a lot of shoes worn through…

2013 saw 1,138 miles logged. 2014 saw a tasty increase to 1,307 miles. I would like to see 2015 in the 1,500s, so long as injury does not strike.

2014 also saw my largest single week of mileage, clocking in at 40 miles. I would like to hit 50 miles (should hit 45 miles this week through chance), but I doubt that will happen without either training for a marathon (not gonna happen…) or committing to double-days.

PBs, PBs, PBs

2013 was a bumper year consisting of 17x PBs. I was certain 2014 would be more miserly, such is the law of diminishing returns from training. In all, only 8x PBs materialised and gone are the days of simply turning up and having a bash.

Follow the links for the in-depth race reports:

The most rewarding of the above? The Cardiff 10k PB, followed closely by the Cardiff Parkrun PB of 18:56; both for very different reasons.

The Cardiff 10k was an unexpected result due mainly to the last minute course change. Due to the NATO conference, a major detour took runners to the north of the city on a route that was both a mix of aggressive hills and undulation. Neither Dave nor I fancied our chances of a sub-40 finish but we had a crack at it anyway. Vince Nazareth of Les Croupiers RC joined us and through a collective combination of efforts, all three of us defied the odds for three sub-40 finishes.

The Cardiff Parkrun PB was almost the exact opposite where I felt primed and ready for the challenge of going under 19 minutes for a 5k. I recently read an article about a mental state called “flow”, which sums up the entire run perfectly. Flow can also be referred to as “being in the zone” where you’re simply that focused on a challenging task. I knew I had done the right training and all I had to do was deliver it that morning, and that I did.

The one that escaped (and the one that didn’t!)

There was only one missing goal from 2014 and that was a sub-3:30 marathon. A lack of marathon pace work, threshold work and speed were revealed that April day in London. I’m not bitter or sore about it, though, and I know that one day I’ll get there and wonder what all the fuss was about. The race was memorable for another reason – Lis and I got engaged 400m from the finish line! I’m not a schmaltzy person but it was, and still ranks as the happiest day of my life.

2015 targets

I’ve got the targets below in my sights for next year:

  • 5k – Sub-18:30
  • 10k – Sub-39:00
  • Half marathon – Sub-87:00

All should be achievable with the right training focus. The 10k and half marathon goals are soft if you look at what McMillan predicts based on an 18:29 5k:

  • 10k – 38:23
  • Half marathon – 85:35

I’ll be honest; those two finish times above scare the shit out of me. A 38:23 10k is 2x back-to-back 19:12 Parkruns – I can barely hit 1x 19:12 Parkrun at the moment without intense concentration! The half marathon comes in at 6:30 per mile, which was my 5k pace only two years ago…

Anywho, we shall see. The 5k goal will almost certainly be the first to fall due to greater opportunities to attack it. A 5k spin-off goal is to revisit all of the Parkruns on my list to get them under 20 minutes. 2015 will also be the year I get myself down to Bushy Parkrun! It almost happened in the summer of 2014 but due to cost, I wrote the idea off for another time.

Whatever you do in 2015, I hope your training goes well and you achieve all the goals you have set for yourself!

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