2016 has been a strange year for me. I went into it expecting to do the Marathon des Sables, for which I’d been training for over a year. However in February I had to drop everything, including the MDS, and go overseas for six months. That experience in itself has been amazing, I’ve done a lot of scuba diving and a lot of fitness but not nearly as much running as I’d been used to, mainly due to the heat. Now I’m due to come back in a couple of weeks and, with the exception of a fun half marathon I signed up for the week I get back just to give me something to do, I am in the unusual position of having no major events to work towards. In some ways that’s a little frightening, but it gives me a chance to reconsider my fitness goals, and the kind of training I want to do.
Here, then, are some early goals for 2017. I know it’s not even close to the end of 2016 yet but realistically I’m unlikely to do any major events this year, and to achieve some of these goals I need to start planning well ahead. I thought I’d post these now because then I can check back in and look at my progress over the coming months, and see how I’m going. I found that public assessment of my progress very motivating when training for the MDS, and I hope the same will apply here.
- Sub 3:00hr marathon. If I could only do one of these goals, this would be it, but it’s a big ask considering my current PB is 3:36. I’ve signed up for a marathon in March to sort of assess my current pace, and then the aim is to do an autumn marathon in which I’ll go for the goal.
- At least one Olympic-distance triathlon. Since doing Ironman I’ve sort of dropped the triathlon, mainly because I’ve been so busy with work since then, but I don’t want to stop altogether. I don’t necessarily want to train for another Ironman yet, but I do want to do at least one more shorter-distance triathlon to keep my hand in, and make sure I don’t lose the open-water swimming skills I built up. By setting this as a goal I will probably end up doing other sprint races as well, just as training.
- Become a Divemaster. I’ve been loving the diving and I’m very keen to take it to the next level, improve my own skills, and set myself up to become an instructor. The next thing to do in making that happen is become a Divemaster. In some ways this is one of the easier tasks on the list since it’s largely a case of time and money, in varying ratios depending on whether I do it as an internship or a paid course and how long I take about it. Either way I really need my own kit before I start, so I’m going to have to shell out for that…
- Climb all of the three peaks. I want to do more hiking and camping this year, but I wasn’t sure how to set a clear goal to make sure it happens. The most obvious one is this – that by the end of 2017 I will have climbed the three tallest mountains in England, Wales and Scotland. Not all in one day, but over the course of the year. It’s not a particularly demanding challenge as all of them are moderately easy one-day hikes, but just something to focus my mind on hiking.
I’ll probably end up adding to this list, and no doubt I’ll also end up doing all sorts of things that have nothing to do with it, but from where I am now I feel like if I could achieve these four things by the end of 2017 I’d be very happy.