Life Changing 2014

As the end of the year approaches and as my fitness is coming back I'm starting to look forward to 2014. Goal setting, race planning, life changing - that sums up how I envision 2014 and beyond. 

So often our goals are performance orientated, focusing on numbers and results. So I'm setting three non-numerical goals for 2014:

Run the trails more
Go on bike dates with hubby

Run more with friends

With hubby highly invested in his triathlon training and with two kids in the house, goals, plans, schedules are going to have to be expertly coordinated. One of the first things hubs and I discussed is not racing the same races - except 5k's - those aren't highly demanding when it comes to training. 

Hubby has yet to set his major goal race for 2014 so I'm waiting for that before I go ahead and plan anything major including an away race. I have plans to do a super sprint triathlon, the 5 Peaks sport series and the Blitz Duathlon in September. I would also like to run a half in late summer/early fall. See my races tab above for more and to follow my results as the year goes on. 

I really want to get back to blogging regularly as well. And, my goal this year is to also have a monthly give-away. Yes, I'm attempting to secure your readership loyalty with swag. 

Perhaps the biggest thing I'm excited for is my return to coaching. Starting January 11 I will be coaching a 10 week Learn to Run clinic  through Strides. Even better is that I've got one FREE entry to give away to one lucky wannabe-runner. I've tried to make the clinic as accessible as possible offering it Saturday morning at 9am. This means the sun will be shining so you an see where your feet are landing, your spouse will be home to watch the kids, and it's early enough in the day to still have some energy. How to win?

1.Comment on this post and tell me your running goal, or
2. Tweet me (@kourtbranagan) and tell me your running goal. 

Pretty simple. I really want to help you start running. And to be fair to those who also want to win, make sure you can attend at least 90% of the clinic days before entering the contest. The goal race for the clinic is the ever popular St. Patrick's Day 5km. This race sells out but I am hoping to get guaranteed entry for clinic participants. 

The draw for the free clinic will take place on January 9 about 10pm. Good luck!

Schedule Yourself Healthy


How to Survive a Run Streak

Day 16. 50% of the way through the Strides Run Streak. There have been some amazing highs and some (s)lows. All in all I am surviving, not thriving, this run streak. And that's to be expected. As I'm still really getting back into the swing of things fitness wise I'm just happy I'm doing something daily. Here are my tips for getting through December one mile at a time.

1. Make a plan
The original plan called for two days of one mile each followed by a day of increased mileage. Something like 1-1-2-1-1-3-1-1-2 ...

2. Ditch the plan
When a high number day coincided with a yoga day, I switched it up to doing a mile instead. And the last four days I've had zilcho energy so doing a mile at an ambling pace on the treadmill is what's working for me.

3. Set some loft goals
My goal is to run a) 10 minutes continuous and b) a sub 10 minute mile. These may or may not happen consecutively. Already I've run my furthest run (4km) and I hope to get up to 5km if I can by the end of the month.

4. Be realistic
It's Christmas. Life is busy. A mile is plenty.

5. Get creative
Do some intervals, hills, switch up the scenery. Stimulate your brain and your body. On day two I walked the ramp at Southland Leisure Centre for 22 minutes while Coach M danced.

The loaded down stroller while Coach J napped.

6. Be consistent
There is nothing wrong with running the same one mile loop. It's easy, predictable, and requires little planning.

7. Indulge
Have that extra cookie, chocolate, drink, candy cane. Seriously, it's the holidays. Reward yourself and don't feel the least bit guilty.

8. Rest
I have had many lazy one mile walks on the treadmill. Give yourself those easy days so you can have fun on those creative days.

9. Take credit where/when due
Two laps of the zoo, that qualifies. Carrying the baby while pulling the preschooler in the sled too and from school, though two separate trips; that qualifies.

I ran outside! For the first time in over a year. Felt. So. Good.

Ultimately it's your streak and you get to set the rules, goals, and define how each day is going to look. Streaking is hard. But we will all be better humans and runners when we're done this thing.