2018 Recap and 2019 Goals: New Year, Same Process

Happy New Year! Welcome to the first Thursday Tempo of 2019 and #21 since I started last year. You can find my past editions on runwithraj.com/blog.

I enjoy setting goals for many aspects of my life from my career and relationships to lifestyle and fitness, usually at the start of the year but also throughout. They are a mix of realistic and ambitious ones, similar to my philosophy of setting two goals for a race. This newsletter was the product of one of my goals last year: to create more content as a coach!

About half of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, but less than 20% of those who do stick with them. We make resolutions when it’s a new beginning or a “new you”. The start of the year is the most obvious one, but it can also be a new week or new season. And we (including me) often fail because we overestimate our abilities and underestimate the time and effort needed to stay the course.

So how can you set yourself up for success? You don’t have to tie your goals to a certain date like January 1 or certain duration like one year. Make it less about a resolution and more about something intrinsically important to you. When you set a goal, you should also chart a path to succeed, anticipating roadblocks that could arise and how you would respond.

For example, if you feel too lazy to go for a long run, have a piece of fruit and/or peanut butter beforehand. Use a habit loop (cue → routine → reward) to keep it up. The “cue” could be a certain time of day, the “routine” could be a run, and the “reward” can be watching an episode of your favorite show - ideally while stretching post-run!

Here’s how I did against my 2018 fitness goals:

  • RUN: 1,914 miles running - on average: 6x run/week, 6 mi/run, and 7:45 min/mile

    • Missed: My first stress fracture in 10 years paused my running for two months and reduced my total miles by 25% vs. the last several years. Rough.

  • RUN: 6 marathons including Boston #6, 5 new states (GA, MD, MO, ND, WA) and three top 3 overall finishes

    • Hit: I squeezed in a final marathon on 12/30 to hit my goal of 6 marathons and bring my 50 states goal to 35. Woohoo.

  • SWIM: 163 miles swimming - on average: 3x swim/week, 1 mi/swim, and 1:47 min/100 yd

    • Exceeded: With less time running, I blew my swim mileage goal of 90 miles out of the water. Ha ha.

  • STRENGTH: 79 hours of strength training - 2x strength/week for a total of 465 exercise hours or 76 minutes/day

    • Hit: I met my goal of 70 strength hours, spending more time on total body strength and in classes like City Row and Tone House.

  • COACHING: Coached 5 new athletes 1:1, taught 2,147 unique athletes in my classes, published 20 issues of Thursday Tempo

    • Hit: I achieved my goal of working with 4 new runners 1:1 in addition to all the runners I am grateful to coach through Mile High Run Club, Achilles, and Google. Inspired by my 2018 goal to create more content, I launched Thursday Tempo and posted more on social media, including my favorite series - 26 marathon tips before the NYC marathon.

So, what’s in store for 2019?

I haven’t set a marathon time goal in a while, since doing 6-8 marathons each year has made it hard to train for a PR, but I’m excited to perhaps go for it this year. I’ve also wanted to run two marathons in a single weekend both under 3 hours ever since I tried this with Indianapolis then Columbus and missed Columbus by a few minutes. I did run back-to-back two more times in  Iowa/South Dakota and Alabama/Mississippi but without a time goal and just to survive!

I want to work 1:1 with more athletes, whether in person or remote, and am off to a good start training 6 new athletes, all who have been fantastic to work with already. And finally, I will continue to brainstorm, test, and maybe even start my next big idea! I have some thoughts on what this could be and will be sure to keep you posted. 

  • RUN: 7 marathons: 5 new states, Boston #7, and NYC #8 as an Achilles guide

  • RUN: Marathon <2:50 OR 2 back-to-back (Saturday/Sunday) sub-3:00 marathons

  • SWIM: 125 miles swimming - 2x swim/week

  • STRENGTH: 75 hours of strength training - 2x strength/week

  • COACHING: Coach 10 new athletes 1:1, coach 2,000 new athletes in classes, 2x subscriber growth of bi-weekly Thursday Tempo

Feel free to share your goals with me so we can keep each other accountable. I'm here to help you hit and exceed them. Let's go get it!

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