I’m a little late putting together my running goals for 2023, but better late than never.
I have some long-term running goals that don’t change:
- Run often
- Run healthy
- Keep it fun
I want running to be part of a lifelong healthy lifestyle and the purpose of these long-term goals is to try and make sure running remains something I enjoy and can do for the rest of my life.
With those long-term goals as a backdrop for any shorter term goals I may set, here are my running goals and plans for 2023.
Run 40 Miles Per Week and Total 1,750+ Miles in 2023
I think this goal nicely balances my long-term goals of running often and running healthy.
40 miles is a significant amount of running. I’ll need to run at least 4 times per week on average to log that number of miles. However, 40 is a number I can hit while still taking rest days.
The way I plan to get in those miles is as follows:
- Monday, Wednesday, and Friday: Run for 60-90 minutes, which means 7 to 10 miles each day.
- Saturday or Sunday: Run for 2 to 4 hours, which comes out to 10 to 25 miles
That should total up to roughly 25 miles during the week with an additional ~15 miles on the weekend. That’s 40 miles and allows me to take three days off of running each week while still hitting my weekly goal.
There will be weeks where my volume is a lot more as well as weeks where my volume is a lot less. When I run the Georgia Death Race on March 25th I’ll likely end up with about 90 total weekly miles. However, I expect my mileage will be dramatically reduced for 2 to 4 weeks after GDR, so it should all even out over time.
I’ve set my annual mileage goal at 1,750 miles, or roughly 35 miles per week. That slight reduction gives me a little wiggle room to take a few days or a couple weeks off due to injury while still reaching my goal of running often and running healthy.
If I have any major injuries that require a significant layoff, that could derail my goal of running 1,750 miles in 2023. That’s ok. I’m deciding now, in advance, that I won’t log monster weeks to make up mileage missed if I have to take time off to deal with injuries.
Keep it Fun
I’m not someone who loves running the exact same route at the exact same pace. I need to mix it up to keep things fun.
Mixing it up doesn’t have to mean finding new places to run. While running in a new place is probably the easiest way to keep running fun, I’ve found I can keep running fun if I just introduce a new element to a tried-and-true route.
For example, a little while back I added some hill repeats in the middle of a run I’ve run dozens of times and that brought an element of novelty to that run. I’ve also run well-known routes in reverse or added a short Strava segment to a route I know well and worked on lowering my time on that specific segment.
The point here is to keep running from feeling like a burden – something I have to do, but don’t really want to do. Anytime running turns into something I dread doing I’ll find a way to mix it up and keep things interesting whether that means finding a new route or putting a new twist on an old route.
2023 Race Plans
I’ve already run one race in 2023: the Hogpen Hill Climb back in January. I have four more on the calendar.
The races I’ve already registered for include:
- March 25: Georgia Death Race (70ish mile trail race)
- April 29: Brasstown Bald Buster (5k, but all uphill), this will be my 2nd time. I ran this race in 2022.
- June 4: Rabun Half Marathon (11ish mile trail race), this will be my 3rd time. I ran this one in both 2021 and 2022.
- September 30: Lady of the Lake (4 hour race), this will be my 2nd time running the 4 hr race which I last ran in 2020 as I was just getting into running. I did also run the 8 hr version of this race in 2021.
A few months ago I decided that after GDR I would focus on shorter distance races for the foreseeable future. My theory is that I’ve compromised my ability to run fast by stretching out into long distance races too quickly. I only started running in earnest a little over two years ago and very quickly ramped up to really long, really slow runs – blasted right past speed work and steady pace long runs. Once I get past GDR I want to go back to shorter distances and see if there is some speed in my legs that I haven’t tapped into.
So once I get past GDR, I don’t plan to do any more ultras in 2023. I plan to focus on shorter races, shorter long runs that include some steady tempo and threshold sections, and even work in some local road 5k’s or 10k’s to see what happens after a period of increased focus on speed. I just have this sense that my run-forever ultra pace could be significantly faster if my 5k race pace was significantly faster. I don’t know if that’s true and I don’t know if I can even get my 5k race pace to be faster at my age (40 in July), but I’m going to give it a try and see what happens.
I’ll get back to ultras. I love them. But I think I skipped a step or two in the process of becoming the best runner I can be and in 2023 I want to go back and revisit any steps I may have skipped.