Before 2017 I had only ever completed 5 races; 1 10km in 2015 & 1 mile, 2 10km and 1 marathon in 2016. 2016 was my first year as a “runner” but after Barcelona marathon (March 2016) I took a 4 month hiatus with 0 miles completed.
Finally getting some mojo back in late 2016, I had entered Manchester and Berlin marathons for 2017. My aim was to have a full year running, without losing motivation for a significant amount of time. I tend to go through phases where I lose interest in hobbies so I knew this would be a struggle, especially as I had never trained throughout the summer before; a requirement for Berlin in September!
The simplest way to try and achieve this was to book at least one race a month for 2017. The start of the year would be simple, using races as training for Manchester marathon on April 2nd. Again I’d use a similar idea before Berlin marathon in September. October, November and December would be a struggle but thus far I have found it relatively easy to keep running, whilst still significantly reducing the mileage since Manchester. 2 races to go!
The key to staying motivated or at least interested for the full year has been group running. Whilst training for Barcelona marathon 2016 I was a complete newbie and novice and always ran on my own. Fast forward to this year and I struggle to go out and run 10km solo. I get bored easily and although I still try to do my longest pre marathon runs on my own, I now always try to run with others; irrelevant of their pace.
This year the core of my training or running has included hill group sessions with Wild_TR in Holland Park and Speed sessions firstly with Nike Run Club and more recently with TheWildBunch– a club set up once Nike stopped imminently.
I have found this the easiest way to keep interested and enjoying what I am doing. People seem surprised that this year is my first full year of running and I think it will only keep growing! I totaled up how much I had spent on races in 2017… and it came to £432 😐
£432 on 17 races = £25.40 per race or £1.50 per km / 2.45 per mile
£432 at first sounds a lot, when broken down it really isn’t too bad (IMO) especially on my favourite hobby and I know full well people spend double or treble that amount easily. The biggie was Berlin at £105 which also became a holiday; I dread to think what next year will bring if I’m “successful” in the Chicago ballot.
But, this is what kept me motivated throughout the year, the longest period of time I had with 0 running was 18 days (immediately after Royal Parks). I went on holiday, rested up and then headed back to the track.
Goals for 2018?
More of the same really! Before 2017 I had only completed 5 races across 3 distances (1 mile, 10k, marathon). This year I have managed PB’s at all distances as well as completing a 10 mile race and 5 half marathons.
If in 2018 I can PB at every distance again I”ll be delighted! I really do think I can knock my 10km and half marathon time down considerably.
I will continue my hill sessions on a Monday, my track sessions on a Wednesday and of course a LSR at the weekend. I currently have 2 races booked for 2018 – The Big Half (4th March) and Brighton Marathon. I will incorporate RunThrough events as the bulk of my races again as they’re so convenient, cheap and also many fast courses!
What races do you have booked for 2018?
Which distance do you think I can improve on the most?
Do you spend a lot on race entries?