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Setting Goals: Running through the Winter

Getting Ready

One of the things that I like about doing a blog is that I can write things down and hold myself accountable for them.  With that in mind, I’m writing this post to set out my goals for the winter and beyond.  In past years, the winter has been a time of regression for both my running and my overall health, as the frequently heavy snow in NH and early darkness make it increasingly difficult to get outside and run.  With this in mind, here are my personal resolutions for the winter, and my current goals for 2010 and forward:

Goal #1: I hope to run at least 20 miles per week throughout the winter.  I hope to do this by running more often at night, and even on the dreadmill if need be.  If running is not an option due to snow, I’ll pull out the snowshoes and get my miles in that way (showshoeing is way more intense than running anyway – if you haven’t tried it, you should!).  One way or another, I’m determined not to let my aerobic fitness regress over the winter the way it has in past years.

Goal #2: Piggybacking onto Goal #1, my first running goal for 2010 is to run a sub-3:30 marathon at Disney in January.  I choose this goal because I think it is within reach, and meeting it will require that I keep running despite the cold and darkness.

Goal #3: Keep my weight steady or drop a few pounds over the winter.  I have a tendency, like most people, to put weight on during the winter holidays (too much temptation!).  It can be really depressing when the scale begins to creep back upward, and added winter pounds set me up for less efficient running once the weather starts to warm back up.  Using a combination of intake moderation and increased activity, I hope to avoid putting on winter pounds, particularly since I’d love to see 160 again at some point in the not too distant future.  I’m in a good place now weight-wise, and I hope to keep it that way.

Goal #4: Set a 5K PR.  Whether this happens in the next month (I have a few short races planned around Thanksgiving) or sometime next year, I’d love to break my 5K PR (18:51 from Fall 2008) sometime between now and next winter.  I was so focused on the marathon in 2009, I ran very few shorter races, and have no real idea where my speed is right now.

Goal #5: Stop neglecting my upper body and core.  I repeatedly hear that building upper body and core strength can help greatly with running performance, but I never seem to be able to stick with any kind of consistent plan to work them out.  I’ve just restarted the 100 Pushups Challenge, and hopefully that will jump-start my efforts in this area.

Goal #6: Do something big for others with my running in 2010.  By “big” and “for others” I mean some kind of fundraising/charity effort that will involve me putting my passion for running to a use that’s not focused on myself.  I have a few ideas, but they’re very preliminary at this point, and we’ll see where they go.

So there you have ’em, my six initial goals for winter and beyond.  They’re officially written down, and with your help, I hope to achieve each and every one of them!

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About Peter Larson

This post was authored by Peter Larson. Pete is a biology teacher, track/soccer coach, and dad (x3) with a passion for running, soccer, and science. If you'd like to learn a little bit more about who I am and what I do, click here, or visit


  1. SisterMaryAgnes says:

    For your goal #4 I would like to recommend the St. Charles Children’s Home 5k next Labor Day. It’s pretty close to you, and it offers special “PR” awards to anyone who sets a personal record. The award is a keychain with a picture of one of the sisters from St. Charles running with the kids. Hope to see you there!

  2. Steve Speirs says:

    Naturally, I love #5, and #3 is a great one too. My weight has been creeping up recently, so this week I’ve been keeping track of calories consumed/calories burned plotted against my BMR. Net result — dropped a couple of pounds and now aware of how many calories I’ve been eating the past few weeks.

    Good luck Peter! Great to have goals…


    • Pete Larson says:

      Even spending just a week counting calories this summer made a huge
      difference for me – made me aware of my intake and as a result it was much
      easier to shave off a few pounds. I’m determined to get to 100 pushups this
      time – 51 on my initial test. This is my second time through your program,
      I stalled at week 6 the first time. -Pete

  3. carleemoldenhauer says:

    I totally recommend Team in Training!!!

  4. Great goals! Mine sound very similar in terms of keeping up on running, losing a few pounds, and building strength in upper body/core. It’s something I definitely neglected in training over the last year. I’m hoping to do my first marathon in October if all goes well, but good luck at your Disney marathon – can’t wait to hear about how it goes!!

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