I was standing at the bus stop on my way to work this morning, and I started thinking about my race goal for the Oak Bay half marathon in May. I’m half way through my training cycle for this race, which has now got me thinking about whether my race goal is realistic. I say it’s got me thinking, but to be truthful, it’s more than just thinking – I’ve been stressing and calculating pace and analysing my previous run paces, asking myself if I found the pace difficult or could I keep it up for 21.1km. I’m honestly surprised I’ve managed to carry on at work this week, as this is all I’ve been thinking about.
I’m interested to know how you set a race goal. Do you have one goal per race or do you have a plan A, plan B, plan C, plan D…..?
When I sit down to plan my training cycle, before I come up with a race goal I think:
-have I done this distance before, and if so, what was my PB or last race time,
-how has my health/fitness been recently,
-how long do I have to train for the race,
-do I have any injuries,
-is the course difficult i.e. how many hills does it have.
Once I have mulled this over, I will literally pick a goal that would be realistic if I stuck with the training. I am goal orientated, so this works for me. If I didn’t plan and said ‘I’ll just run this race and be happy with any time I get’, then I wouldn’t put the training in, nor would I push myself out of my comfort zone (no good came from staying in a comfort zone!!).
So back to this morning. I’m half way through my training cycle, so feel now it’s a good time to re-evaluate my race goal – is it realistic or do I need a back-up or new race goal?
I’ve decided that my goal was too adventurous for this race – I haven’t given up on that goal, I will get there, just not for this race. I’m not being defeatist; I’m being realistic and know that I will struggle on such a hilly course. I’m not going to let up on my training cycle – I will still push to hit all my paces, keeping everything the same. I will just have to change my mindset to recognise that even a PB would be incredible for this course.
Thanks for reading,