Go the distance in 2016: Now is the time to set your goals

by • January 27, 2016 • Columns, Running wildComments (0)957

Go the Distance” is a whisper, a call to action, uttered to Kevin Costner in the 1989 film “Field of Dreams.”

Courtesy Mike Halko If you “go the distance” in 2016, you will be a superhero

Courtesy Mike Halko
If you “go the distance” in 2016, you will be a superhero

Costner goes on to follow a dream and transforms his farm into a baseball field for people to come and enjoy America’s favorite pastime. Can you hear that same voice calling to you? “Go the Distance” but it’s calling out to you to follow your running goal in 2016. It can be an event, distance, or time you picked for yourself or one that was mysteriously planted in your head.

Alaska is fortunate to have scores of events throughout the state to target. In the first half of the year six classic events come to mind: the Heart Run, Run for Women, The Gold Nugget Triathlon, Skinny Raven’s Twilight 12K and Mayor’s Marathon.

In the second half of the year USA Track and Field events in Fairbanks and Anchorage offer an opportunity to chase a state age-group record. Also the epic trail events like Mount Marathon, Crow Pass Crossing, Lost Lake and the Equinox Marathon beckon.

The Alaska Runners Calendar, published by the Anchorage Parks and Recreation Department, can be found at www.anchoragerunningclub.org. It has these races and hundreds more calling to you: “Pick Me!” in 2016.

Stretch yourself this year based upon your ability and desire. One mile, a 5K (3.1 miles), 10K (6.2 miles), a half marathon (13.1 miles), marathon (26.2 miles), or an ultra – any distance beyond a marathon. You decide road or trail, in state or out of state.  Take yourself to a place you have not been before. The longer the distance, the more time is needed to build up to it based upon your ability. Mix it up and run from home to a destination: work, a cookout, a park. Some notable events started out this way … usually after a few drinks in a bar. Hmm… Mount Marathon.

Try running for time – if the furthest you’ve run at one time is 20 minutes, try upping it to 30 minutes. If you are stuck in a 45-minute per run rut, shoot for an hour. Or make a times-per-week goal such as running three days a week or five days a week – whatever that inner voice is telling you.

The element of speed, or how fast you ran on any of these given days or distances, is something that can come later. For now, think of the goal – how far do you want to stretch your training? – and then the speed will come.

Use this New Year to listen to that message.  “Go the Distance,” become your own superhero. Let’s fight the villains of poor health; heart disease, obesity, arthritis, depression and cancer. Our consistent commitment to running and walking this year will transform us into the superhero we’re meant to be. I’m gravitating toward Superman created by my uncle Jerry Siegel. Guess that makes me the nephew of Superman. Now where are my running tights?

— Keep Striding and Smiling, or Up, Up and Away!
     Coach Mike

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