Year Ahead – 2016 Goals

March 8, 2016

Better late than never, I wanted to share my 2016 goals.  If you have been following my blog for the past couple of years (2014, 2015), I always had a long list of goals.  I realized some of the goals were more “bucket list” or “to do list” items, such as learning to knit and calligraphy…hmmm maybe another post.

This year I wanted to take a more simplified approach to goal setting and narrowed it down to three categories: running, nutrition and triathlon.  

Running – PR the Marathon 

My main focus (running-wise) is to PR in the marathon distance and I know there is so much room for improvement.  This year is all about getting prepared and strong (mentally and physically) for the Berlin Marathon in September.  If I PR in other distances along the way (10K, half) that will be a bonus. After reviewing my lessons learned, here are some changes I have made/plan to make this year to achieve this goal: 

  • You may have guessed I started working with a coach, Mollie of Piece of Cake Running. I’m building my mileage (after some time “off” in the fall/winter) and enjoying the variety of workouts, advice, accountability and friendship.
  • Quality weekday miles – the long run is not the only star of the show (which was the case for New York and Chicago).
  • Strength training – this is an area that needs more consistency (I am no longer working with a trainer – the one I was primarily seeing last year moved to Philly).  My legs fatigue much quicker than before, need to get back it. 
  • Core core core – so sore after both marathons! Cough…weakness!  Yoga/barre are back in rotation.

Nutrition – Lose the lbs

I’ve gained some weight since Chicago. Decrease in exercise (Nov/Dec) + sweet tooth = extra lbs. I wish I gained that weight eating the most cheesiest and yummiest foods, not the case. A cookie here…another piece of bread there…it crept up little by little each week.  In addition to all the health benefits of losing weight, there will also be running benefits.  I see it as “free time” – there will be less weight to carry which should translate to an improved pace.

  • Track my meals – I’ve been successful when I do this. 
  • Meal prep each week – lately it has been hit or miss. 

Triathlon – Clip in the Bike

If all goes well I would like to participate in my first 70.3 (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run) in 2017 or 2018. My major weakness is the bike.  This year I would like to get comfortable clipping in/out of a (moving) bike (not just a stationary spin bike ;)) I will not participate in a 70.3 unless I am clipped in.  I know more time on the bike/trainer will help me improve. If you see a fallen cyclist in Hains Point this spring -> likely me! 

Any tips for getting comfortable clipping in? 

Have you worked with a coach before? 

In case you missed my Year in Review posts:

Year in Review – 2015 Goals

Year in Review – 2015 Running by the Numbers

Year in Review – 2015 Medals (Bling Bling)

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    1. Love these goals! In my last marathon training cycle, my weekday runs were a joke which had some major impacts come race day…my fitness just wasn’t where it needed to be. I think it’s really easy to slack on strength training when you’re putting in so many miles…just one more thing to do! But that being said, I’m sure it makes a huge difference and it sounds like you have an awesome plan with a coach for Berlin. 🙂

      1. Run Jenny Run

        My weekday runs were a joke as well – when I went out for them I would only focus on the mileage. There were no changes in speed and I ran them at a comfortable pace…I wonder why I wasn’t improving 🙂 I’m enjoying working with a coach and look forward to what the year brings. Good luck studying!

      1. Run Jenny Run

        Thanks, friend! I was looking at my food log from spring 2014 (when I was having that nice PR streak), so I was reminded what I was consuming/how much. There was definitely a correlation.

    1. Great goals! While I’m not a marathoner (I’m only half crazy 😉 ), I have similar goals for this year. I’m focusing on the shorter distances and working my way up to an OLy distance Tri. I’m just getting started on getting clipped in and I will say that getting outside and riding has been the best advice given to me. When I was on my trainer (and comfy and stationary) I was clipping out the wrong way – with all my weight sitting down and on my unclippong foot. Thankfully I went to my LBS for a check up and asked the awesome bike tech for some pointers. He noticed that right away!

      1. Run Jenny Run

        Olivia – thanks for the tips, I would have thought to sit down and unclip. One of my co-workers suggested I go to my LBS as well for some pointers/get fitted. Good luck with your tri training! I’ll need to read some of your old posts.

    1. Great goals Jenny! So excited for you to do Berlin Marathon and can’t wait to hear how it goes.

      I had to laugh about the clip in bike part – I was soo bad at that when I had my bike. I used to just fall right over in my driveway and at stop signs because I’d forget to clip out before stopping. The handle bars on my bike were so banged up from all the falls! One weird thing that helped – I put the oil I’d use on the bike chain on the pedals too – just not too much or you slip right out, but it made it a lot easier to easily click in and out when necessary.

      Hope to see you soon!

      1. Run Jenny Run

        That is good to know about the oil – thanks! I’m sure I will regale you all with Berlin updates as we get closer 🙂 Sorry I missed you on Sunday!

      1. Run Jenny Run

        Thanks Chaitali! You just gave me an idea, perhaps I can write a couple post on how I found my coach and the logistics of how it works (since its all virtual). Hope you are having a good taper week.

    1. That’s really exciting that you’re thinking about doing a 70.3. After spending this year focused on the marathon, I bet that will be a nice change of pace next year (or the year after).

      Post Chicago this year I definitely want to focus on improving my half marathon time, significantly.

      I’m looking forward to hearing more about your thoughts on working with a coach and the improvements you see. I love working with a coach, the accountability and just knowing that the training plan was made by a pro is really comforting. I’m looking forward to working with a coach again this summer for Chicago!
      Kristina recently posted…Day in the Life + Scary Dream!My Profile

      1. Run Jenny Run

        It will be nice to shift to longer triathlons and maybe work on the shorter distances – 5K, 10K..ok anything half or below haha. I just have to remember to resist any temptation to run a marathon the same year- I know I would be burnt out if I did. Knowing me it will float around, we’ll see what happens next year. Your post Chicago goals sounds like a good plan. So fun to see everyone writing/tweeting about NYC or Chicago for this fall.

      1. Run Jenny Run

        Thanks Ali! Your last marathon was uber inspiring! It is book marked for future motivational reads 🙂

    1. Berlin sounds fantastic. I think your goals are great – and you’ve got time to make small changes that will make a big difference. A friend is trying to talk me into (my first) sprint triathlon. I’m not a swimmer, so I may make it a duathlon, but it’s still an interesting prospect. We’ll see. I don’t have a personal coach, but I train with a group that has many coaches and I think having a plan makes a huge difference.
      Elizabeth recently posted…ORRRC Half Training Week 1My Profile

      1. Run Jenny Run

        I hope you get to try it – a duathlon sounds like a great idea to start..maybe even a relay? I’m trying to convince myself to join some group runs for a few of my week days runs every now and then, I know running with other (faster) people will help me. Based on reading your blog, seems like you have a great group/set of coaches you work with!

    1. Those are fantastic goals and I’m so excited you are running Berlin – that will be such an adventure and extra memorable when you PR 🙂

      I’ve worked with a coach for a few years now and I think there are so many benefits. You’ll get workouts tailored to you and your goals and they are also good for helping you adjust things as you work through training. Plus, it’s just a lot less stress leaving the training plan to someone else!

      1. Run Jenny Run

        Thank you, Sun! Agreed, it is nice having someone else create the training plan. It is fun to see what is planned for the following week. Glad to hear you have found success with your coach over the years. Looking forward to working with a coach for the long haul 🙂

      1. Run Jenny Run

        Thanks Sharon! I found Mollie through the Oiselle group (she is also part of the team). Over the year people would inquire about coaches and Mollie was often recommended (different types of runners – those who have BQ, those who have BQ aspirations, runners trying to improve X etc), so it was word of mouth 🙂 I know some consider if a coach is in person vs. virtual (which is what I have), type of coaching (ex. do they prefer or specialize in a particular method, I was pretty open ). I’ll send you an email this week!

      1. Run Jenny Run

        Glad to hear working with a coach was successful for you. Thanks!

      1. Run Jenny Run

        That is good to hear, so nervous. I always love your/Coco’s pictures of the W&OD trail, does it get crowded during the weekends? Less if I head west?

    1. Is it the clipping in or the being clipped in that bothers you? It’s stressful for me too no matter how many times I’ve done it! I get uber focused on that at the beginning and end of the bike portion of a tri. I’m trying to think of how I do it…I think I kind lean over to/put my weight in the side that I’m not clipping out of and take my weight out of the foot that I AM unclipping, then when my foot is out I lean back over to that side so I can put my foot down. I think. It’s been a while since I was outside on my bike!
      I can’t wait to see how much working with a coach helps you improve this year! I’m sure you’re going to crush your goals for Berlin, especially if you get the nutrition and the strength training in check too. You go!
      Tracy recently posted…Propositum teneMy Profile

      1. Run Jenny Run

        I think its a little bit of both (1) Getting clipped in, I take forever to get fit the slot and lock in (on a stationary bike), I guess that will come with practice (2) Being clipped in – the “control” part I guess…falling (expected). Thanks!

    1. They all sound like great goals. I’ve heard Berlin is a really fast course, so go after that PR 🙂

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