2021 Training and Racing Goals

In the past this blog has been only been used to share trip reports and not much else. For reasons I am not sure I could express I avoided putting almost anything personal on here but like I mentioned in my 2020 recap post, I am looking to change that this year. I want to invite people along with me in a way I never have before and open up in a way I always avoided. Feeling vulnerable sucks, especially in front of mostly total strangers but I think this is a good opportunity for personal growth.

So with that out of the way I want to talk a little bit about my goals for 2021. Normally I am pretty fast and loose with my plans which usually leaves me with mixed results. This year I am trying to go into my training and race schedule with a more serious eye on what makes sense, what seems fun, and how do I push myself to the next level.

Training:

In terms of training I was pretty happy with how 2020 went for establishing a nice base to work off of this year. I thankfully avoided any major setbacks and managed to stay pretty consistent with averaging 20-30 miles a week, every week, all year. This is the first time I can really say I have ever done that so consistently but I can tell at this point I have hit a little bit of a plateau. I have gotten too much in a groove and have maintained basically the same pace and mileage for a while now which I think is limiting my growth a bit. To shake things up I want to focus on three key areas in 2021.

  1. Increasing my weekly mileage to 25-35 miles with the average run being 6+ miles instead of 4+.
  2. Increase my weekly elevation gain to 5-6k (this is actually harder to accomplish….)
  3. Include regular core and strength (body weight) exercises, every week

So number 1 is pretty straight forward. By increasing my weekly mileage I hope to move things up a notch in my progression. As more daylight shows up, the temperatures become more pleasant and I get used to the added load, I think 35-45 miles a week might be a possibility.

Number 2 is really one of the harder things for me to accomplish week to week. Unfortunately I live at essentially sea level and there aren’t a ton of hills or any mountains to speak of around here. My normal runs net me about 100-500 ft of elevation gain over 4-5 miles. If I drive a little further from home (about 30mins) I could push that average to closer to 1,000 ft per run. I have mostly just been lazy about traveling to more steep locations and in 2021 I need to really stop doing that. The occasional hike/mountain run just isn’t enough if I want to see any real progression.

Number 3 is also pretty straightforward. I want to make sure I am doing structured core and strength exercises every week. This is an area I largely avoided when I was climbing more regularly, assuming that was enough but now that things are a bit different I need to stay on top of it. I don’t have any specific goal in mind yet for this but in general I just want to make sure its consistent more than anything.

Racing:

When it comes to racing I have done a handful of races the last couple years, mostly focusing on finishing and not so much on my performance. This year I would like to focus more on achieving better results and laying the foundation to be successful in harder races.

So far in 2021:

  • Chilly Willy Virtual Half – 2h 13m (10:09 pace)

On the schedule/tentative for 2021 so far:

  • Mt Tamany 10 (40 miler), March 21, 2021 – Waitlist
  • Shenandoah Epic Adventure Race (100mile adventure race, bike/paddle/run), April 17, 2021 – Waitlist
  • Hyner Trail Challenge (50k), April 24, 2021 – Registered!
  • Devil on the Divide, Colorado (22k), September 11, 2021 – Tentative

I am hoping to add some more shorter races to the schedule along the way but I haven’t really figured out what those should be (I am open to ideas!). The Colorado race would also be a big addition but since it will involve traveling we will have to see if its feasible. The Hyner will also be my first official 50k so I am pretty nervous and excited about that. The Shenandoah Epic Adventure Race would be my first multi discipline race. I am currently registered with a team for it but the waitlist is pretty long so I am not very hopeful it will pan out for this year.

That is all I have so far, as things develop I will keep everyone updated here. If you have any thoughts/ideas or your own goals/story to share, please feel free to drop a line in the comments.

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