Setting and reaching goals

Tomorrow is the last Saturday in the month, and that means it’s the day I’m intending to try to beat my PB (personal best time) at parkrun.

Part of the strategy is to set myself up mentally as well as physically for the effort, as I’ve discovered before now that a lot of the battle is in the mind. This is why I’m making my plans public.

I tried this strategy before, which is when the current PB was set – but that was one sunny day in June, on my favourite route, after two weeks of hard training. I cunningly volunteered for one run, trained during the weeks, and then went for it.

Now it’s my favourite route again, but at this time of year it partly consists of 400 m of sticky, slippery mud and another section that we’re cheerfully told could be under about 5cm of water (at least that part washes off the mud from the previous part!).

I’ve been running at around 37 minutes for the past few runs. My PB is 34:21. That’s a very big ask, to knock off so much. I have been training during the week, in fact for the past three weeks I’ve been going out regularly as part of the Jantastic challenge. I deliberately haven’t pushed myself hard for the past few parkruns either, so this will be the big challenge: can I make enough of a difference in my speed and pace to beat my target?

I’m really not sure I can actually beat that time yet, especially when you consider the difference in conditions underfoot for that one section. But I should at least be able to set a decent time (which I would consider as 36 mins or less) and set myself up for next weekend when I’m signed up for a 10k run.

At least the extra training I’ve done has been over slightly longer distances, so that 5k is beginning to feel like a shortish run rather than a long one, and all that effort has to produce some results, right?

And if I don’t make a new PB this time – there’s always the end of next month. And the month after.


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