The South African running world seems to revolve around the Comrades Marathon. Certainly, the race calendar supports the Big C with plenty of marathons on offer as qualifiers from January to May.
The month of June has less than 40 races country-wide compared to an average of 60 races in March and April. For 21 000 people who have entered Comrades 2018, this is a significant goal.
But what about the other runners, who don’t want to run Comrades (either again or ever)? What can they aspire to in 2018?
How about looking at the speeds you are currently running and setting a goal to run faster? Name the date, the race, the distance and the time you would like to achieve. Keep it realistic – you can’t go from a 40-minute parkrun to running under 30 minutes in a month.
Or what about increasing your distance? Moving up from a 5km to a 10km or from 10km to 21km. Again, you need to identify the race and set a realistic time frame to train for the longer distance.
There are a number of multi-day trail runs that take place in South Africa. The Ox-Pecker is a very doable two-day, 35km event suitable for novices. There is the Freedom Run for Freedom Day events taking place on 27 April around the country.
There are new races being added to the calendar every year. Make a point of doing a race that you haven’t done before. And maybe push it even further and travel a bit to run a race out of town.
My favourite goal is parkrun. As I type this, I have completed 130 parkruns at 44 different events and volunteered a total of 86 times. You can aim to achieve a milestone: 50, 100 or 250 runs or 25 volunteer sessions. You could aim for a fastest time on any of the courses you have run or you could aim to run at 20 different parkrun venues and join the parkrun tourists group. Or even aim to run a personal best time at your home parkrun every quarter. (You can access all your parkrun results from your weekly results email.)
Let us know how you go about setting your goals and what you aim to achieve with your running in 2018 on the Fitter Faster 5 to 10 Facebook page.