Goal Setting 2021

Goal Setting 2021

Posted on January 5, 2021 by Carey Nelson

Happy New Year!

2020 was an unusual year and a year of patience as COVID turned everything upside down. Adjusting training plans and fitness maintenance were the goals of the year. In early 2020 most of us had expected to be racing in November and December 2020. 2021 looks like a better year as vaccines are coming to the rescue. We are fortunate to finish 2021 in good health.

In previous years it has been easy to set goals for the year but 2021 is different. It appears that there will be races the second half of the year, while the first half of the year will primarily be virtual events. To set goals for the year I would break the year into two segments. 

The first half of 2021 – January to June 2021

Marathoners

During the first part of the year run a virtual event that is half of your goal distance. 

  1. Training at a reduced amount – If you have not been running at your usual training level run a virtual half marathon at your goal marathon race pace. If your goal is a 3:30 marathon then run a 1:45 half.
  2. Training at your usual distance and speed – Run a virtual half marathon at the equivalent level. If your goal is a 3:30 marathon then run a 1:40.
  3. Maintain racing fitness – Run 3 to 4 times per week for a total of 40km to 50km and include 1 speed workout per week.

If your goal marathon is not until the fall of 2021 it’s more sensible to run less mileage and work on your 5km to half marathon time. Long runs of less than 25km is safer with less chance of injury. You can increase your longest run to over 30km when you have a solid date for a marathon.

Half marathoners

  1. Training at a reduced amount – If you have not been running at your usual training level run a half marathon at your goal race pace plus 5 to 10 minutes. If your goal is a 1:40 half marathon then run a 1:45 to 1:50 virtual half.
  2. Training at your usual distance and speed – Run a virtual half marathon 1 to 4 minutes slower than your goal timel. If your goal is a 1:40 marathon then run a 1:42.
  3. Maintain racing fitness – Run 3 to 4 times per week for a total of 30km to 40km and include 1 speed workout per week.

If your goal half marathon is not until the fall of 2021 it’s more sensible to run less mileage and work on your 5km to 10km time. Long runs of less than 20km is safer with less chance of injury. You can increase your longest run to over 20km when you have a solid date for a half marathon. 

10km runners

  1. Maintain fitness – Run three times per week of distance of 5km to 10km. Follow the 10km pace workouts in the weekly newsletter. Run a virtual 5km for motivation and goal setting

The second half of 2021 – July to December 2021

As actual races are back you can increase your training distances and step up the speed for the second half of the year. There will be virtual marathons in the spring and early summer and if you are planning to run one of them you will need to start adding longer runs up to 36km. Please send me an email and I will adjust your schedule in Training Peaks.

Monitor your Fitness Score in Training Peaks. You should see a gradual increase in fitness or the same level of fitness if you are running at a sufficient weekly volume. Good luck with your training this year. Your primary goal is to maintain your fitness and stay injury free for the second half of 2021.