When thinking about setting yourself goals, it's important to ask yourself how and why? So we thought it would be interesting to get a little insight from Team KMC member Michael Parkin. Here's his advice.
A little bit about Michael...
Hi, I'm Michael. I'm a fell runner conveniently located in Penrith, just outside of the Lake District. 2019 was a great year of running for me, I have competed in some fantastic races and team events. Most notably I was part of the Eden Runners Billy Bland Challenge in which we ran a 3rd fastest time. On a personal level I ran at the Great North Run in Newcastle where I was aiming for a sub 80 minutes. Having not trained specifically for road racing I was skeptical about achieving this time but I surprised myself and finished in 1:17:29. Towards the back end of 2019 I have suffered with injuries and niggles that have carried forward into 2020 but hopefully with some perseverance and cross training I can maintain a good standard of fitness for new challenges in 2020.
Why do you set your goals?
When it's a new year it's easy to start thinking about new goals and how you're going to achieve them but for me I'm constantly thinking about new goals.
My race calendar is always considerably fuller at the end of a year than it was in the January. It's kind of the reason I do train, training without a purpose becomes somewhat of a chore but when the purpose is that I can race whenever I want then it becomes a lot more bearable when you're half way through your hill rep session!
How do you stay motivated?
When it comes to motivation this is something that I often struggle with. However, finding a time in the day in which you enjoy training and can fit it in is important. Inconveniently for everyone around me, I train at around 6ish when my family or friends want to eat. It's when I feel most alert and have the best session I possibly can. Sticking to this as a routine keeps my motivation high, I don't enjoy training in the morning so I don't do it. If I forced it, my training would be substandard and it would affect my motivation.
Seeing improvements is definitely the best form of motivation. The best way to do this is to do regular races or even park run. Breaking a PB over any distance is great for personal motivation and you soon forget how much your legs hurt. I like going back to races that I've done previously, especially fell races, I broke a lot of course PB's last year and it was the perfect way to measure how far I'd come in the 12 months leading up to that event. I also do a half marathon every year around September time, for me this is the ultimate test to see how far I've come. I knock over 4 minutes off my 2018 PB last year and that felt amazing so it's definitely something I will focus on over 2020 to try and beat that.