Running Goals 2014

Happy New Year!!

In setting my running goals for 2014, I thought long and hard about what I want out of running, what kind of runner I want to become, and which weaknesses I want to address.  So without further ado, here are my 2014 running goals, in no particular order:

1. Run at least one road race sans Garmin (or with it completely covered).  As useful as my Garmin can be during training, I don’t always find it helpful during races.  In order for me to be better in tune with my effort, I’d like to run a race without the Garmin.  However, because I’m a data addict, I will probably run with the Garmin completely covered (and tones off) so that I can go back  after the race to look at my splits. (It’s all about baby steps!)

2. Run a timed mile every month.  I got this idea from the Gypsy Runner.  I think running a timed mile on a monthly basis will allow me to focus on speed, as well as (hopefully) build my confidence.  I never think of myself as a particularly fast runner, but if I can run a sub-8 mile on a regular basis, it might change my thinking.  Also, a mile is just long enough to require significant effort, but not long enough to need more than 1 recovery day (unlike a hard 5K).

3. Explore 4 new trail systems or parks.  Since trail exploration was one of my highlights of 2013, I thought I’d continue to make that a goal for 2014.  There are so many great trails in the Bay Area that I’m really excited to check out.

4. Run long on trails.  In the first third of 2014, I would like to do at least half of my long runs on trails to prepare for the hilly Big Sur Marathon course.  I also have my sights set on running a trail marathon in October, so I’ll definitely need to do some long trail runs in the summer too.  To attach a number to this goal, I’ll aim to do at least 12 long trail runs (12 miles or longer) in 2014.

5. Set a course record at a trail race.  Due to the variation in terrain and elevation gain, it’s almost impossible to set a true trail PR.  Instead, I thought it might be fun to re-run a race in an attempt to set a course record.  The 2 possibilities I have in mind are the Woodminster Classic (mid-June) or the Drag-n-Fly 10K (9/20).

6. Volunteer at a race.  I enjoyed my volunteer efforts in 2013, and would like to continue to do so.  Free race entries are a nice perk too. 🙂

7. Cross-train once a week.  Whether it’s yoga, cycling, or strength training, I will aim to do some sort of non-running fitness activity at least once a week.

8. Run a negative or even split at half marathon distance or longer.  Instead of saying that I’m going to run a sub-2 half marathon, which I only have partial control over, I’m going to aim for better pacing skills this year.

9. Spend less time reading running blogs and articles online.  Before running blogs, I never used to “surf” the internet.  I would get online, find the information that I needed, and get off.  Now, it seems like I can spend hours online with very little to show for it.  I haven’t figured out how to quantify this goal — whether I should restrict myself a certain amount of time or posts per day, but I will figure this out soon.

So, I’ve got lots of goals to conquer this year, but I’m quite excited to tackle them.  What about you — any goals for 2014?


Howdy! My name is Jen and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I like to eat, run, and blog, but not usually at the same time.

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18 comments on “Running Goals 2014
  1. Cathryn says:

    These are REALLY good goals, I love them! I want to be part of No. 3 and No. 4.

  2. Mike says:

    Well-conceived list you have here. I’d particularly tip my cap to running a timed mile (or several) every month, as well as spending less time in the blogosphere (just as long as that doesn’t extend to mine)… I agree that reading blogs can quickly reach a point of diminishing returns.

    Every once in a while I give some thought to cross-training… then I shrug it off and go for a run instead.

    Hope you hit all your goals in 2014!

  3. Those are great goals! I too am a Garmin addict. In races, I’m even worse than in training. Good luck with your goals!

    • Jen says:

      Thanks, Jan! I’m simultaneously excited and scared about not using a Garmin during a race, but hopefully I’ll learn a lot (and maybe run happier and faster!).

  4. Amy says:

    Lots of trails on this list! Luckily you seem to have a bunch at your disposal! I’ve definitely stepped away from the internet over the last couple of months. Good for some things, but I also am having some guilt over not being as supportive as I should…I’m trying this year to be more involved in social media, but to try to keep most of my attention to a few “quality” internet friends instead of trying to keep up with a bunch of internet strangers who are ultimately using me to sell advocare or up their number of followers.


    • Jen says:

      Thanks, Amy! 2014 will definitely be trail-heavy – I feel like I get much more out of trails than roads. And you’re definitely right about that delicate balance between keeping quality online interactions vs. spending too much time with creeps/jerks. Good thing we have each other. 😉

  5. Dan says:

    These are excellent goals to have. I laughed at the first one, because it shows that you can’t go completely cold turkey … and I’m exactly the same way. I did run a marathon PR with a dead watch though, so there’s definitely something to be said about running stats-naked.

    Best of luck with your Big Sur training! I hope you plan to meet up with Mike & Katie? My friend Otter will be there as well, so the four of you should share a post-race victory beer.

    • Jen says:

      I’ll have to add you to the list of people who have run Garmin-less PRs — seems like it’s a long list! I think I’ll start with races with lower stakes and see how it goes. Like I said – baby steps.

      Yes, I’m definitely planning on hanging out with Mike and Katie at Big Sur, and glad to know that the infamous Otter will be there as well. Looking forward to it!

  6. Great goals, I hope you’re able to meet all of them! I’d love to run a trail this year. I feel the same way as you do about running data!

  7. Dominick S. says:

    Trails and hills to pay the bills. I like this list, especially the “run long” on trails bit…I may copy this…not sure I am up for 12 x 12 milers yet! The negative split is just practice, you can execute that strategy for sure!

    • Jen says:

      Yeah, do the long trail runs “with” me! Maybe you should do a trail half this year? (Have you done one before? Can’t recall…)

      The negative/even split thing is just a technicality. I’m just aiming for no bonking at mile 11 — I’d count that as a success, even with a positive split.

  8. […] Timed mile at the track. As you might know, one of my 2014 running goals is to run a timed mile once a month (at least), so this was my first stab at it.  The last time I […]

  9. Cynthia says:

    Hi there! I’ve been lurking on this blog for a while (while still checking your food blog every so often). I didn’t feel like I could contribute until now. I stopped running for about a year but decided to sign up for the Paris half marathon (the last one I ran was more than two years ago I think!). I’m on week 5 of training but still feel awfully out of shape. Paris was my first half but I don’t think I will even beat my original time! Anyway happy new year! Will look for you for running inspiration.

  10. […] come, as well as look forward to what I hope to accomplish in 2015.  First, a review of my 2014 Running Goals, in no particular […]

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9/2/18: Race to the End of the Summer 5K
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