2017 was my best year as a runner. I have achieved PB's, helped Sedgefield with their cross-country promotion push, found a whole bunch of new running friends at Run Peterlee, stayed fit and generally had a great time. I do like to push myself and go for a PB now and again, but above everything I must enjoy it. There are times I don't fancy a particular session or even a race, but I can't remember a time when I came home from a run and thought... you know what? I really didn't enjoy that. Also, according to Strava I ran 4000 miles!!

So, what is planned for 2018? I did originally plan on doing the Hardmoors trail marathon series, but I saw the good for age qualifying time for Berlin Marathon and everything changed. My marathon PB is 2:56 and the qualifying time for Berlin is 2:55. On the face of it improving by 60 seconds sounds easy. It's only 2 seconds a mile, but anyone who knows the marathon knows this is a big ask. I remember the last 5K at London being like a scene from The Walking Dead! I saw faster runners than me being chewed up and spat out by the marathon. I won't take anything for granted until I cross the line.

I talked in a previous blog about fearing failure. Having a plan b or even c. I don't want to fail, and I'll be gutted if I put all the graft in and don't run under 2:55, but anything else other than sub 2:55 will be a massive fail. There is no plan B or C. However, I'll dust myself down and get over it. I planned on having two serious attempts at it, but I have had a rotten start to the year. My asthma has been bad, I have had a cold and then I hurt my calf. I’m not completely sure when I’ll be ready to train properly so for now I’ll just do what I can and work on my S&C.

I thought I’d be devastated not being able to start training for London, but I’m not and the thought of putting all my eggs in one basket at an Autumn Marathon is quite exciting. Being injured also gives me a chance to try a new approach to training. I have heard a few times that just repeating 16-week marathon programs isn’t such a good thing if you want to get faster and that 16 weeks is not enough to train properly to get yourself in peak condition. Also, as most runners did not come from a track background (including me) they have never trained to go fast. So, that is what I’m going to do. Fingers crossed I’ll start a pre-training speedwork plan to get the legs used to moving quick and then move onto a 10k plan. Then I’ll move to a 16-week marathon plan. I’ll still do marathons along the way, but I’ll use them as my long run. I know this is far from ideal, but I love running marathons, so I’m not prepared to stop running them.

I’ll follow the Jack Daniels formulas to help with pacing and I’m going to use one of his plans for the 10K.

New Year’s Resolutions!

I have such a sweet tooth, so this will be tough. I am going to try and stop putting sugar on my cereal and stop making impulse treat purchases. I’m so weak when it comes to a bargain and the pull of a reduced pastry from the co-op or a £1 bag of peanut M&Ms is pretty much always stronger than my willpower. Also, no rounding up my Garmin!! I'm terrible for running until I tip over the next mile or half a mile so for 2018 I'm going to stop running when I reach the destination even it the watch is on 4.99 miles. We’ll see how it goes…

All the best everyone and thanks for reading my blog.

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