Fitness goals for 2011

After a year punishing myself with what seemed like a huge challenge when 2010 started, I managed not only to reach my goal of running 1000 miles in the year, I also ran much more! The final figure was 1318 miles and in that time I managed to drop my average running time from 7.15 min/mile to 6.52 min/mile. That doesn’t sound much, but when running 10 miles at a time it works out quite a considerable margin. At the start of 2010 I was working hard just to try to run 10 miles in under 1 hour 10 minutes (7 min/mile), but by training my body to maintain a quicker pace for a longer period of time I managed to log some unbelievable times that I never thought I could do! In fact, by the end of the year, even on an off day, my times were always below the 7 min/mile marker. The quickest time I recorded was 1 hour 4 minutes and 37 seconds which at the time beat my previous personal best by over a minute.

To some this challenge might seem crazy but it kept me focussed and as a trainer it is very easy to get caught up with clients fitness programmes and neglect your own! This challenge made sure that didn’t happen and it has made me fitter and stronger than ever before. The only problem with the challenge was that it was very time consuming and gruelling on my body, therefore I sacrificed my usual weights programme for the year to see the effects it would have on my body. The conclusion is that physically I have become much fitter, I have lost some muscle bulk from the lack of weights but look more toned than before. Ideally when exercising, mixing cardiovascular workouts and resistance exercise programmes is the way to go, but as I sacrificed my resistance exercise programme, my strength has suffered slightly…..but not to worry, I will be working more on that this year!

So, on to 2011. My challenge this year has changed slightly. I want to keep on with my running as the fitness it has given me, has left my heart and lungs very healthy, but I also want to regain some of the strength and muscle bulk that I had before. As my mileage was so much higher than expected, I know what is possible now, so I have decided to cut my mileage to just complete 1000 miles this year but add in a weights programme along the way. With two to three 10 mile runs a week plus twice a week of weights sessions, four to five days a week of exercise could be a real challenge for even the fittest and I expect this to be a tough year.

Combining the big mileage running and a consistent weights programme could turn me into a machine if all goes to plan, but I’m not expecting it to be easy as staying fit and healthy never is and we all have to remember that sometimes! The effort you put in will be rewarded with results. What do you want out of 2011 and will you put the effort in to get it?

(Originally posted on Monday, 17 January 2011)