I always like to have a target or a goal to aim towards with my running. I feel that it helps, for a few reasons. I don’t lack motivation because I don’t ever find going for a run is something that I dread, but having a goal means that I prioritise my running a bit more over all the other things in life that get in the way.
I also really like the idea of having some kind of structure to my running, a purpose beyond having a nice couple of hours out of the house. If I have a goal in the future, I will try to work a rough plan for how to structure my training best for that event. Usually that will involve building some long, slow distance volume, some hill work and maybe some speed work in cycles.
For the last few years my running has focused around mountain running. The events I have been doing have been Mountain Marathons or mountain races such as the lamm.co.uk or SIPR scottishislandspeaksrace.com. Along with this I have been steadily working my away through a round of the Munro’s, all of the Scottish mountains over 3000 feet, 282 in total. This has been a great match, with my personal running matching well with the events.
I have very nearly finished my Munro’s, with only 10 to go, so I feel like this is a good time to pick a new goal, and in a slightly different form. My goal event for 2018 is going to be the Cape Wrath Ultra capewrathultra.com This is an 8 day stage race, covering 400km through the Highlands of Scotland, from Fort William to Cape Wrath on the far north west corner of Scotland.
This will be a bit different for me, running through the mountains rather than over them and covering more distance than I am used to, an average of 50km for 8 days, but with a monster day of 72km for day 6!
So that is my goal, and with six months to go I now know what I need to do, I will be working hard to steadily increase the distance I am running (which could be a challenge whilst working a Scottish winter season!) along with strength training to reduce injury and a bit of speed work thrown in.
Luckily I live in an amazing place, surrounded with endless trails and inspiring locations.
What is your goal for 2018?