2012 Running Retrospective

January 5, 2013

My 2012 Targets

Back in February I set myself three running targets for 2012, along with stretch versions of each.  My review of 2012 begins with a look at how I performed against these targets.

The first goal was to run a total of 1,700 miles, with a stretch target of 2,012 miles in 2,012. This, it transpires, was a ludicrous objective and neither mark was ever really on the cards. Even though I lost less time to injury and illness than in 2011, I still spent around 10 weeks sat on my backside. Also, the schedule I followed training for the Loch Ness Marathon consisted of much lower mileage than I expected.  Anyway, enough excuses – my mileage total for the year was 1,367 miles. This is roughly the distance from New York to Miami, or Adelaide to Brisbane, or London to Lisbon. Well short of my target, but still quite a long way!

2012 Mileage

My second target was to run a 10k in under 41 minutes. The stretch version here was to break the landmark 40 minute barrier. I took part in four 10k races this year, and each and every time I ran between 40 and 41 minutes. The quickest of the four was an agonising 40:07 at the Andy Reading 10k in Bicester in December. I’m chuffed that running under 41 minutes for 10k has become close to routine for me, as long as I am in decent shape. Obviously, I would have loved to do sub-40, but much more of that when I talk about my 2013 targets!

The third and final target I set myself was the big one. I aimed to break 3 hours and 30 minutes in the Loch Ness Marathon with a stretch of 3:20. As regular readers, friends, family, anyone else who had the misfortune to ask, a bunch of people who didn’t ask at all and various other strangers I met in the street, will know, I did it!  I ran a pleasing 3 hours 13 minutes and 32 seconds.

So, one miss, one base target and one stretch target achieved.

My 2012 Highlights

Next up, a look at my top five personal running highlights of the year. This year, I scored 10k and 5k PBs, trained at the excellent Running School, helped some newbie runners to achieve their targets, started to improve my running technique and crossed the line first at another parkrun, yet none of these were momentous enough to make my top 5. So, what did?

5. The JP Morgan Corporate Challenge

My own performance in this mass participation 3.5 mile race through Battersea Park was OK, but certainly not enough to warrant inclusion in this list. The fact that almost 50 of my Huddle colleagues, around 60% of all employees at the time of race entry, took part is another matter. From a sub 20 minute weapon to run-walkers, and everything in between, it was great to see so many people getting involved.

4. Sam Murphy’s Coaching Programme

Not only did coach Sam‘s 18 week custom training programme yield results, this period was the most I have enjoyed running. Sure, training through the summer (as opposed to my previous marathon experience) helped, but the variety, technical complexity and intensity of the programme, as well as the support and guidance provided by Sam contributed hugely. The fact that I didn’t miss a single session says all you need to know about my resulting motivation levels.

3. The Reading Half Marathon

In April I completed the Reading Half Marathon in 1 hour 27 minutes and 22 seconds, an unexpected huge PB. If you look at race time predictors like the McMillan Calculator, this is by far the best running performance I have ever produced over any distance. There is a good chance it is the best performance I will ever produce.  On top of this, the race finish in the Madejski Stadium was fantastic.  So, Reading’s inclusion in this list is no surprise, but only in third place? There must be two very exciting highlights still to come!

Reading Half Marathon

2. Running With Mo

I’m a huge Mo Farah fan. I may have mentioned this before! Back in February, I was fortunate to run three miles with him.  Well, I ran one mile with him, one mile hanging on to the back of the group in which he was gently jogging, and one mile watching him disappear into the distance. I hope, but somehow doubt, Mo’s inclusion this list will go some way to compensate for his shocking exclusion from the top three in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards. As I said at the time, I’m pretty sure wearing skimpy Union Jack panties during the Olympics did Jess Ennis no harm at all in public vote. That said, if I’d met Jess in that kit, I’m certain she’d be in this list too.

1. The Loch Ness Marathon

My top running experience of the year was the stunning Loch Ness Marathon in September. This was my ‘A’ race, my top priority performance of the year and my big chance at revenge after a painful first marathon in 2011. I made my target, but that was a tiny part of the story. Breathtaking scenery, fantastic camaraderie and slick organisation make this a wonderful race.  Taking part with one of my closest friends, Rob, was also very special, not to mention the amazing support provided by family.

Loch Ness Marathon

My 2012 Stats

Lastly, for the stattos, here are some facts and figures regarding my running in 2012.

I ran 221 times, covering 1367.18 miles, an average of 6.18 miles (or pretty much 10km) per run.

My average speed across all runs was 7.9 mph or 7:36 per mile.

I ran the most times in February (25), I ran the furthest in September (167.04 miles) and I ran the fastest in April (average pace 7:09 per mile).

I completed one marathon, two half marathons, four 10k races, one 3.5 mile race, and seventeen 5km parkruns.

I achieved PBs for all distances raced. My new records are: marathon – 3:13:32, half marathon – 1:27:22, 10k – 40:07, 5k – 19:12.

What a year! Next up, I’ll be talking about my targets for 2013. Bring it on!


One Response to “2012 Running Retrospective”

  1. […] This time last year I set myself three running targets for 2012 with a base and stretch version of each. I hit one stretch target, one base target and missed one altogether. […]

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