Anyone who has a Strava account will be aware of their ‘My Year in Sport’ films. Below is mine from 2017.

 

Headline figures, for running:

Total distance: 949.4 miles

Number of activities: 187

Number of hours: 140

It’s a bit of a gimmicky feature offered by Strava that doesn’t really do your year justice. What we really want to track is progress, not statistics, and there’s no better way to track progress than to refer to race times.

Looking back over the year, 2017 has been great for me and, in all honesty, it will be hard to top it in 2018. At the beginning of the year, the following were my race PB’s:

5km: 23:24

10km: 52:10

Half Marathon: 1:55:44

Today, my race PB’s are as follows:

5km: 21:48

10km: 45:35

Half Marathon: 1:41:43

On top of the improvement in race times, I’ve also set PR’s in all distances that Strava and Garmin track. 400m, 800m, 1km, 1 mile, 2 miles etc. One of the reasons for such an improvement is being able to run consistently. 2017 went by without a single injury, which isn’t necessarily that much of a surprise given my modest weekly mileage, but it was a big improvement on the previous year, in which I spent at least 3-4 months away from the pavements due to a shin splints problem.

The main reason for the improvement though, has been learning how to run to improve performance. Whereas in the past I have clocked up miles but almost ran every run at the same pace, being around so many more good runners this year has taught me about the various sessions for different benefits, and when to do them. I have learnt just how easy the easy run should be, found out what threshold running is and been introduced to reps. Again, this has helped by being part of a club.

At the start of 2017, my goals were to break 1:50 for the half marathon and run 1,000 miles for the year. I didn’t quite make the latter, but I well and truly smashed the former. Not bad for someone who couldn’t make it a quarter of the way round the 1 mile cross country course at school without stopping.

For 2018, I would like to break 1:35 for the half marathon and 20 minutes for the 5km. I think the first one is fairly doable, providing I sign up to an autumn half (I don’t think I will be ready for it in the spring), but the sub-20 goal will take some doing. If I can continue injury free though, and running with confidence, there’s no reason why 2018 cannot be as successful as 2017, but it will require some serious effort.

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