2018 was a memorable year for me. The ups and downs of last year have inevitably influenced my 2019 running goals.
My focus this year is achieving consistent, progressive, endurance-based and injury-free running.
Although I will still compete in a few races, I want 2019 to be the year of developing the strongest aerobic fitness of my life.
Run my First Ultramarathon
For many years I have wanted to test myself over a distance longer than the marathon.
Initially, my inspirations were the books and audiobooks of incredible ultrarunners such as Scott Jurek, Pam Reed and Dean Karnazes.
Later, my experience as a 8-time marathoner got me wondering, too frequently, how I could cope with the extra mileage.
In 2017, I set myself the goal, before I turned 30, to explore this relatively new running phenomenon.
Fortunately, there is an ultramarathon race close to my home.
Held in early October, it is the ideal challenge that offers me plenty of time to experiment in my training.
Improve my Marathon Personal Best
Since completing my first marathon in 2013, I have achieved relative success at this iconic running distance.
However, my dream to qualify for the London Marathon as a good-for-age entry remains a long-term goal.
My aim for 2019 is simply to improve my personal best, accomplished in October 2017 at the Chelmsford Marathon.
Although only two weeks after the ultramarathon race, I feel confident my endurance training, recovery and race tactics will aid my success.
After a disappointing end to my 2018 season, I want to return to building a strong foundation without the pressure of short-term racing.
A persistent and ill-timed shin injury resulted in sub-optimal performances.
By returning to an appropriate and progressive stretching and strengthening routine I believe I will enjoy pain-free running again.
My hope and expectation is that I will become a more resilient and fitter athlete.