For runners formal races provide the opportunity to focus training, set goals, and be part of a running community. Whether the goal is to finish a race, get in better shape, or compete, organized races can bring additional elements of fun to anyone’s running.
Last year, my goal was to run a race each month, focusing on the 5K distance, but making allowances for a few variations on the theme. The table below shows the races and results for 2014. This year, my goal is much the same, but my goal is to become steadily faster over time. A plan for 2015 is further down. This will involve more structured training than I am doing now, but that is part of the purpose for this blog. One important aspect to training is keeping track as part of maintaining consistency.
A couple of notes on the 2014 record are in order here. I will get into the details of some of these race categories in later posts, but a few points of clarification are in order. The Raid Series were obstacle course races that I did as part of a team and ran with the team. (Running with other people will come in on a later blog, as will obstacle course racing.) The biathlons listed here are summer versions of the Winter Olympic sport. It is made up of running and shooting, instead of skiing and shooting. This is a fascinating form of racing, and I will devote future posts to it.
Month (2014) Race Time Pace/Mile
January Needham New Year’s Day 5-K 23:41 7:38
February Waltham YMCA Valentine’s Indoor 5K 26:31 8:33
March Cambridge 5k Craicfest 25:40 8:11
April Watertown Police Department Finish Strong 5K 27:49 8:57
May Thoreau 5K 23:49 7:39
June Raid Series Urban Raid Portland 1:02:51 20:13
July Cambridge 5KSasquatch Trail Race (2.35 miles) 20:55 8:54
August Pemi Biathlon 39:07 N/A
September Raid Series, Beach Raid 1:10:09 22:33
October Pemi Biathlon N/A N/A
November Donohue’s Bar and Grill Turkey Trot 26:07 8:24
December A Christmas Story 5-K 24:32 7:55
For 2015, I am already registered for several races, which are listed below with the dates. There are several that I ran in 2014, and as far as I know, the courses will be the same. This means there will be a basis for comparison from year to year. With training and luck, I will be able to continue to fill in this table and show improvements in times.
While they don’t appear on the grid yet, I do plan to run future biathlons, obstacle course races, and I also plan to run the Sasquatch Trail Race if the schedule works out. If it works out, then there may also be some orienteering in the race schedule. Clearly I still need to find some races.
Month (2015) Race Date Time
January Needham New Year’s Day 5-K 1/1/2015 27:34
March Cambridge 5k Craicfest 10/15,/2015, 9:30 a.m.
June Cambridge 5K Freedom Run 6/7/2015, 9:30 a.m.
October Cambridge 5K Octoberfest 10/4/2015, 9:30 a.m.
December A Christmas Story 5-K 12/5/2015, 9:00 a.m.
December Cambridge Yulefest 12/13/2015 , 9:30 a.m.
My overall goal is to make my race times consistently in the 23-minute range and shorter. If possible, I would like to cut a few minutes off of the consistent race time. To be able to run in the 20-minute time range would mean that in some races I could win my age group. While the main goal is always to beat my previous times, I wouldn’t mind a win like that.
What goals to you have? Did you set stretch goals, shoot for reasonableness, or base them on something else entirely? It will be interesting to compare notes on goals and training as the race season develops.