One of my 2011 goals (a resolution if you will) is to get faster as a runner. I am doing a half marathon in February and want to do it in 2:10, faster than my 2:18 time from last October. That means I need to run an average of a 10-minute mile. Should be pretty easy, right? I average about 10:15 minutes per mile so I just need to pick it up a bit.
Then I want to get comfortably into a 9:30 mile. And finally I want to complete a half marathon in less than two hours. When I can do that, I'll consider training for a full distance marathon.
That's my SMART goal for running this year: consistently run a 9:30 mile by training for distance events and steadily increasing my speed at each event until I complete a half marathon in less than 2 hours.
Okay, so....I need a plan. "Pick it up a bit," as a training tool only works for about two blocks. Luckily, my husband got me a Garmin for Christmas so when I've been running, I strap that puppy on and monitor my speed as I run. I learned Sunday that when I start daydreaming, I slow down to about 10:45. When I snap out of it, 9:45 is easy. And when I'm at 9:26 I feel amazing. But I can't maintain it - that's where the conditioning part comes in. It should be an interesting process.
Here's your New Year's Resolution homework for today - make a plan. Set a goal, make a plan. Dissect your goal into the action steps you need to take - or get other people to take - to see it come to life. Write benchmarks on a calendar so you can visualize when things need to happen. Spend some time visualizing what obstacles may crop up and how you'll deal with them. Write it down, make a plan, and do at least one action from that plan right away.
2011 is going to be a great year! You can plan on it. :)