My running goals for 2019

Happy New Year! I hope that you all had an awesome Christmas and New Year. Here’s to a healthy, happy and injury free 2019. I can’t believe I’ll reach the grand old age of 40 at the start of May.

As always, I’m acutely aware that people are getting a little fed up with all of the New Year’s resolutions and goals type blogs. I really hope that my slightly unusual mix of running goals doesn’t bore you all to last year and the year before, I’ve decided to set myself some challenging but hopefully achievable running goals. After – with a few notable exceptions – I failed to achieve most of last year’s goals, I wasn’t originally going to share my 2019 goals. However, I hope that by sharing these goals I make myself slightly more accountable. A runner can always dream.

Run 1000 km – I set myself the same goal last year and ended up running approximately 735 km. I’ve entered the 1000 km in 2019 challenge on Virtual Runner and have set my distance target on Fetcheveryone so that I can monitor my progress throughout the year.

Complete 10 races – I set myself the same goal last year and ended up completing eight races and an unofficial virtual half marathon, a huge improvement on 2016 and 2017. I’ve already entered six races this year so I’m reasonably confident I’ll earn myself 10 running medals this year. I just need to avoid picking up any too many niggles.

Complete 15 parkruns – Now that Sutton Park parkrun is up and running – apologies for the rubbish pun – I don’t have to rely on lifts to and from Walsall Arboretum, I can run into Sutton Park. Last year, I aimed to complete 10 parkruns and ended up completing 13; a massive increase on the one parkrun I completed in 2017. I suspect this running goal may be slightly lacking in ambition, so I’ll see how I’m getting on in June and update it if needed.

Volunteer 10 times at parkrun – I’ve been pretty rubbish at volunteering at parkrun. Having to rely on lifts to and from Walsall Arboretum made volunteering difficult. I felt I had to complete parkrun as quickly as possible and then run back to the person who had (reluctantly) driven me to the Arboretum. Now that I can run to Sutton Park parkrun, I’ll be volunteering on a more regular basis.   parkrun volunteering

[Photo: Peter Heafield]

A sub 8-minute mile – I’ve just looked through all my old race listings on Fetcheveryone and my current mile PB of 9:09 is from way back in 2012. I’d like to lower my mile PB at some point this year, possibly at the Vitality Westminster Mile at the end of May. I’ve already entered the Vitality London 10,000 which takes place the following day, so I could go for a weekend of PBs.

A sub 25-minute 5k – Last year, I set myself the goal of completing every parkrun in under 30 minutes. My times ranged between 27:10 and 33:59 so I more or less achieved my goal. I set my parkrun PB of 26:49 in February 2016 when I weighed less than I do now and was fitter. Once again, I suspect I’ll find running 5k in under 25 minutes incredibly challenging but I’m going to give it a go.

A sub 60-minute 10k – in 2016, 2017 and 2018 I set myself the challenge of completing a 10k in under 55 minutes. After struggling to complete the so-called ‘fast’ Lichfield 10k in 61:17 and feeling completely demoralised, I’ve decided to set myself the challenge of completing a 10k in under an hour. I was going to enter the flat and fast Fradley 10k in March, but I already have a date with a half marathon on the same day. I just hope the weather on the morning of the Vitality London 10,000 in May is kind this year.

A sub 2:15 half marathon – After completely messing up my pacing, I finished the Royal Parks Half in 2:24:19. Although this was a 5+ minute PB, I came away from London feeling disappointed. The training plan I’ve cobbled together for my next half marathon – the London Landmarks Half – started on Monday. My running mojo has returned and *touch wood* my temperamental left foot is behaving itself. I’m quietly confident I’ll be able to improve my half marathon PB in March.

Listen to my niggles – I’ve said this countless times before, but I’m definitely an injury-prone runner. Some runners hardly ever seem to get injured – or else they are really good at pretending they don’t – I seem to spend a lot of time nursing various niggles. As I don’t want to spend weeks on end feeling envious of other runners, I’m going to continue to listen to and closely monitor my aches and pains. Finances permitting, I’m also going to continue to work with a local sports injury expert. Knee injury


Improve my core strength – At the moment, my core strength is pretty much nonexistent. My friend who is a qualified running coach friend has told me that if I want to stop getting injured all the time, I need to improve my core strength. In between Christmas and New Year, I spent far too long time watching core strength exercise for beginner’s themed videos on YouTube.

Run with others more – I set this as a running goal last year and did reasonably well. I tracked down a local running group in Wallingford and ran with them when my training schedule allowed. I’ll never forget some of the more challenging runs I completed with Run Wallingford. Running with faster runners most definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone, it nearly killed me. Run WallingfordThis year, I’m aiming to run with Run Wallingford on a more regular basis. I’m only going to be working in Wallingford until the end of March, so I need to make the most of the time I’ve got left there. I’m also aiming to complete the majority of my long weekend training runs with Ellen. Running in Sutton Park is far, far more enjoyable than running around Four Oaks.

Train consistently – I’ve never been great at running and training consistently; some months I love running and will run 3-4 times a week. Other months I seem to fall out of love with running and don’t run at all. If I want to improve as a runner, I need to train more consistently. I also need to get better at actually following training plans.

Don’t buy any unessential running gear – I set myself the same goal last year and failed miserably. My family bought me some amazing running gear for Christmas. I also treated myself to some trainers in the Brooks sale, a couple of t-shirts and a pair of gloves in the Lululemon sale and some 2XU capris in the TK Maxx sale. So although I’m definitely going to have to invest in a couple of replacement running bras sooner rather than later, I don’t need to buy anything else.

I know I ask the same question every January, have you set yourself any running goals for the year ahead?

Have you entered any target races?

Can you recommend any core strength exercises or YouTube videos that are relatively beginner-friendly? 


13 thoughts on “My running goals for 2019

  1. Maria @ Maria Runs says:

    I like reading posts like this- the feeling of starting fresh and looking forward to the year ahead is always a good one I think.
    I tried to do less races last year and I think that worked well because I enjoyed them a little more. It felt like I was doing a race nearly every other weekend and it just got a bit much.


    • Emma says:

      Thanks Maria. I wasn’t going to share my running goals because I’m all too aware that some people are quite negative about goals type blogs. I’ve no idea why as I really enjoy reading them. I also think looking ahead to the year ahead and making a fresh start is a positive. I’m not going to worry if I don’t hit my races target. Last year, I got myself a little stressed out when I DNS a race and realised I wouldn’t hit my 10 races in 2018 target. Silly when running is meant to be fun.


  2. #NotARunner says:

    Good luck with the goals. From what I understand / have read, cross training is a good way to strengthen those other muscles and prevent injury. The Nike Training Club app has some great strengthening exercises and training for core strength. Worth a look.
    Also, I found that track training really helped my speed and running technique. Even once a week alternating between different running drills makes a massive difference.


    • Emma says:

      Thanks #Notarunner (although I’m pretty sure you are a runner!). Thanks for the Nike Training Club app recommendation; I’ll check it out as I definitely need to do something different this year. I actually quite enjoy track running, I enjoy pushing myself out of my comfort zone. I think the track training will unfortunately have to wait until my temporary contract comes to an end in March. When I’m back home in Four Oaks, I’m planning on rejoining my local athletics club.


  3. Natalie_CTR says:

    Your goals are pretty similar to mine! Since completing my first marathon (London) this year, I have really started to train consistently and am seeing the benefits. It was my greatest achievement to date and has made me want to train harder and push forward. I was struggling to achieve a sub-30 minute 5k, then I managed 29:35 and have been improving since. I got 28:37 on Christmas Day and then 27:22 on New Year’s Day! I struggle to stay motivated when it comes to my strength / yoga work though!


    • Emma says:

      Happy New Year Natalie, I think we had pretty similar goals last year as well? I think your right, consistency is definitely the key. I’m terrible because some weeks I’ll run 3-4 times and then other weeks I won’t run at all. After eating and drinking far too much during the festive period I need to get back into some sort of running (and life!) routine ASAP. Congratulations on the impressive parkrun PB progression, I reckon you’ll get a sub 25 minutes time this year. Fingers crossed for a brilliant 2019!


  4. AnnaTheApple says:

    I think you have some great goals there! Realistic but challenging. My fingers are crossed for you.
    I’m happy for you about the Sutton parkrun as it made me sad that the person who used to take you wasn’t really that enthusiastic about it…
    Try Fitness Blender for good workouts. They’re quite good to follow along with! Otherwise good old planks, squats and lunges are a good start!


    • Emma says:

      Thanks Anna. I used to make the mistake of setting myself goals that I was never going to achieve. I’d get to middle of the year, realise I wasn’t getting close to my time targets, and get demoralised.
      I’m so happy about Sutton parkrun. It’s actually almost quicker to run to the start than drive from where I live. Perfect! Yes, my friend could be a touch lacking in enthusiasm. I think partly because he used to be a very good runner himself. Now he can’t run, he finds parkrun quite a chore.
      I’d forgotten about Fitness Blender so I’ll go and reacquaint myself. Thanks for the reminder.


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