My big running goal for 2013 is to run a sub-5-minute mile on the track. I ran quite a bit faster than that in high school, but I haven't run a competitive mile since then and I'm 41 now, so I think that nice round number is a good goal for me at this stage.
According to the scientists, the attributes that a runner needs more of to run a fast mile (as opposed to a fast marathon, an event I've been focused on for the past decade and more) are namely speed and anaerobic capacity. These are the first ones to slip after age 40. Therefore my training will be focused on nurturing these attributes. Right now I'm hitting the weights pretty hard in the gym to build leg strength, which supports speed development. Then I'll transition to hill sprints to begin the process of translating that strength into power, and finally I'll hit the track and run short intervals to get faster. Whether I meet my goal or not, I'm looking forward to the literal change of pace, and I know I'll have fun with it. Man, I used to love racing the mile when I was a kid!
More: How the Pros Stay Lean
I'd like to pick up my 5K pace and run a couple more half marathons this year, and maybe even get a friend or two to run with me. Ideally, I'd like my half marathon time to be under 1:53. Maybe 1:52 ? I'm getting crazy now! And I want to do an obstacle-course race.
I do have a goal of breaking 50 minutes in a 10K (I have a ways to go; I've yet to break 53). I haven't really thought of it as a 2013 goal, but maybe it should be.
What I need to do to reach this goal is just dedicate myself to a much more structured training plan, which isn't easy with a kid, but it's doable. Typically with 10Ks, I just do 3-mile runs two days a week, and then build up long runs on the weekends, and that usually puts me in the 53- to 54-minute range. If I include more speed work, a little strength training, lots of stretching, and build up miles well beyond the minimum, I think I have a shot at it.
My running goals are contingent upon me getting 100 percent healthy in 2013. I spent almost half of 2012 with plantar fasciitis, so the first priority is getting better, and then getting back to consistent, healthy running.
If all goes well, I'd love to run a fall marathon—my ideal picks would be Twin Cities, Chicago or New York. For a long time, I've been curious about training and racing an ultra. I'd take baby steps, though, and start with a 50K.
My plan of attack: Keep accumulating points on my frequent customer card at my physical therapy/Active Release Therapy studio, get three solid months of base training on the schedule when I'm 100 percent before I start a real training plan, and eat sushi. Lots and lots of sushi.
What are your running New Year's resolutions? Share them in the comments section, then get after them!race.