Announcing: 2020 Parkrun Big Year

At my age, I think I have one final opportunity to become slightly faster and stronger at running. Accordingly, in 2020, I’m going to run a Parkrun every Saturday. For those unfamiliar with this, Parkrun offers an 8 AM 5-kilometre run every Saturday, in many locations worldwide. My aim is to break 30 minutes, that is, hit a speed of 6 kms/hour. Now, 6 kms/hour is slow, slow, slow, but I’ve only managed it a few times, back in 2016, and over the last couple of years my pace has been 6:30 or 6:45 or even 7:00. Faster is better!

That’s not all. I also commit to a daily exercise regime – no ifs or buts – that results in me jogging four times each week, plus doing three bike rides (just short ones for leg conditioning, I’m de-emphasizing cycling in 2020) and three gym sessions. Ten exercise stints per week means I’ll be a busy boy, but I’m convinced this will deliver a stronger me.

Many other notions swirl around in my head. I will try and lengthen my runs, back towards the 10 kilometres I ran with such regularity in 2016 and into 2017. I’ll look at doing some fun runs and might even tackle a cross country season.

Monitoring progress will be key and I’ll refine a feedback loop over the first few weeks of 2020. I’ll also consider doing some formal speed and strength training, either in a local running group or by using a Strava-compatible training app.

I find it hard to describe how exciting this seems right now, five days before New Years Day. No doubt the novelty will wear off quickly and I’ll revert to grumbling about the daily effort, but this sense of thrilling possibility is real.

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