What can you still achieve this year?

I know this is a question that gets a lot of attention in January, less so in September. For many of us, September can feel like a new beginning and one that should come with new stationary. But the deadline of 31 December can feel limiting.

There’s a lot you can still achieve this year if you turn that deadline into a positive. 12 months can feel like a long time in which to accomplish something which is why we sometimes don’t get round to even starting it. But having a shorter deadline, and maybe a smaller ambition, will motivate you to make it happen.

So, what could you be doing by 31 December?

We need to look at where you are now as well as what your goal is. You’ve got 15 weeks which means you could…

Start running

As a complete beginner, you need 10 weeks to get to 5k. And the great news is there are plenty of weeks left to make this happen. My Beginners 0-5k groups starting in September are always popular – more popular than January because runners benefit from longer days and better weather for those difficult first few weeks. The same benefits extended to you. Start now, I have a 0-5k Training guide if you need some help.

Run your first 10k

If you’re already running 5k, you can train for your first 10k in around 8 weeks, so you have enough time to get one in by Christmas. The main issue, aside from the actual training, is going to be finding a race that works for you timing wise. The sooner you start your training, the more flexibility you’ll have when choosing a race

Yep, I have a 10k training guide too.

Bag yourself a PB

Having a shiny new PB is reward for your running efforts this year. If you’ve been running consistently without racing, or concentrating on longer distances this year, use the last few months of 2019 to focus on running faster at shorter races.

If you feel your days of PBs are behind you (we’ll all get to that stage at some point) or just not realistic this time, aim to get your fastest 5k or 10k time of the year instead.

I’ve got a Training guide for running faster at 5k and 10k too.

Train for a marathon

OK, unless you’re already training for an autumn race, this one is a little out of reach for most. But if it’s on your agenda for 2020, there’s no reason why you need to wait until January to start training. In fact, it’s better if you start now.

Spending this autumn ‘base training’ and building a strong foundation for next year will benefit you when you start your proper training program next year. So aim to get into a routine of running 3/4 times per week each week (or as many weeks as you can) between now and January. And then get my marathon guide for the rest of the journey.