These are my 2021 running goals

Female runner about to cross the finish arch of the Algonquin 50K, with a man to the left.
Here I am finishing my first and only 50K, the Algonquin 50K, in 2017. This year, I hope to beat that time, if possible.

As usual at the beginning of each year, I’ve set some running goals for the new year. I know we’re already into the second half of January, but I got a little behind in my blogging. Some of the goals I already had in mind, and one of them, I added yesterday. Here goes…

Run a mile (or 1600 meters) at the beginning of each month for speed. While I would like to get faster, the purpose of this goal is primarily just to keep myself consistent, challenge myself and look at my progress during the year. Plus, I know the hot and humid summer months will almost certainly slow me down. On Jan. 2, I kicked this off by running 1600 meters in 8:32 at the Bennett Middle track. I would love to run a sub-8:00 mile sometime this year. I am still in the process of healing from a car crash, but I hope to be back to running by February. If not, I’m not sweating it — I’m alive and healthy.

Run the Algonquin 50K faster than I did in 2017. In 2017, I ran my first and only 50K, the Algonquin 50K, in 7:48:46. I would like to run a little faster this year, and I also think the course is a little shorter than the first year, which would help. However, again, if I am unable to do that because of the car crash, it’s OK. I would really like to be able to still run Algonquin and finish under the eight-hour cutoff despite taking some time off (I think it’s still possible!).

Run a marathon in a new state. If it’s safe and possible with the COVID-19 pandemic, I’d like to run a marathon in a new state during 2021. I was supposed to run the Philadelphia Marathon last year, but it was (obviously) canceled. If it’s able to happen this year, I would like to run it, and I haven’t run a race in Pennsylvania yet. Maybe another opportunity will arise, too — it’s hard to tell at this point. If this goal isn’t met in 2021, I can always move it to 2022.

Beat two of my distance times from last year. I went through my fastest 5K, 10K, 10-miler, half marathon and marathon times for 2020 for my year in review post, and none of them were faster than my times for those distances in 2019. In 2021, I would like to improve my times over 2020 for at least two of those distances. I feel like I underperformed last year (and there were fewer races and a pandemic), so I’m hoping this goal is not too hard to achieve.

I’m not setting a mileage goal, as I have done pretty well without one, and I don’t like being tied to a specific number. I also decided not to set any blog goals for this year, as those seem to depend a lot on other people. I’m going to keep putting out content that I enjoy making or feel is important. If it bleeds, it leads, so my 2021 blog numbers are off to a higher-than-usual start (though I’d rather not have been in a car crash).

2 thoughts on “These are my 2021 running goals

  1. These seem like great goals. Try to add in strength training (if not done already) for that 50k goal. I found adding it to my routine made my long distance efforts way more consistent, I.e. my body learned to keep trucking on tired legs.

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