Set Running Goals You Can Achieve in the New Year

As 2014 draws to a close, and 2015 quickly approaches, it's time to set your running goals for the new year. No matter what level of runner you are, setting goals can be a fun and easy way to unlock your true potential. However, setting goals that are beyond your reach is unfair, and may discourage you from running altogether. Follow me as I show you how to set achievable feats to keep you on target for a healthy, and happy, new year.

Make Your Goals Achievable 

We would all love to run a 2 hour 30 minute marathon, or tackle a 100-mile foot race, but these may not be "realistic" goals to reach within a 12-month period. Instead of setting the bar too high, allow yourself time to grow into the runner you wish to become. Try shaving off a few seconds from each mile, adding an extra race or two to your calendar, or putting more focus on training. These are all reasonable goals that you can accomplish over the next year. And they will keep you excited about your progress as you achieve each one of them.

Pick Your Goals

Many runners aim to increase speed, distance, and number of races for their new year's running resolutions. And there's nothing more rewarding than beating your personal record (PR) on a course you raced the previous year, or racing the longer version of that race (half-marathon instead of 5k, marathon instead of half-marathon).

Decide which area you want to improve, and write it down. Tape it to your bathroom mirror, set it as your computer (or smartphone) wallpaper, or use an application like RunKeeper to track it. Just make sure to keep your target in mind each day as you plug away the miles, inching yourself closer to your goal.

Timed Goals

You may be wondering how to calculate a time-oriented goal. For starters, make a list of your previous races, and take note of your finishing times. If you are unsure of your past results, visit Athlinks and search their database using your name - they track finishing times for every runner in the country. Another useful tool is the Calculator over at Cool Running. It's great for calculating time, distance, and pace predictions.

Next, determine the amount of time you'd like to improve on each mile. I like to think in 10-second increments. This past year I ran the New River Marathon in 3 hours 40 minutes; that's an average pace of 8 minutes 23 seconds per mile. For 2015 I'd like to improve my marathon time, dropping 10 seconds from each mile. That would bring my finishing time down to 3 hours and 35 minutes. Still not a Boston Qualifying time, but who says I won't exceed my goal?

Lastly, devise a plan to put your goals in motion. Schedule hill-repeats, tempo runs, and intervals. Some runners add long runs as a way to improve their overall speed. Running 10+ mile distances will build power, allowing you to put more energy into your shorter (5k) runs. If you have the funds, hire a personal trainer to help you along the way. You can even use music to improve your stride turnover rate, increasing your steps-per-minute.

Missing your Goals

I had two goals for 2014: Run a total of 1,500 miles, and complete my first marathon. Unless I can squeeze 382 miles into the next two weeks, I won't be completing my 1,500 miles. But that's okay. As the great Bruce Lee said, "A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim for." That's exactly the mindset I want you to have going into the new year. We can't predict what injuries we may face or setbacks we'll encounter due to family life. But we can push on and try our best to improve as much we can. Don't get bent out of shape wondering why you missed your goal. Reassess your goals, set out a new plan of action, and get back out on the pavement.

Here are my 3 goals for 2015

  • Run a total of 1,500 miles (taking another shot at this one)
  • Complete an ultra-marathon (30+ mile race)
  • Beat my previous 5K time of 19:48

What goals are you planning to achieve in the new year?

Header image courtesy: FrameAngel/

Kale and Aubry Walch Vegan Butcher Shop

The Herbivorous Butcher 

Many vegans today love their "Vegan Meat" as much as the other fruits, vegetables and grains they consume on a daily basis. While vegan meat alternative foods may not be the first thing that comes to mind when talking about a vegan diet, this tasty meat alternative is widely popular among vegans who crave the experience of eating meat.

The Kickstarter Video

About Kale and Aubrey

Kale and Aubry Walch are two siblings who plan to open the first Vegan Butcher Shop called the Herbivorous Butcher Spring 2015 in Minneapolis thanks to a very successful kickstarter campaign

They were able to raise the needed $61,806 on their kickstarter campaign to fund the venture and expand their line of locally sourced hand crafted meat free meats  on November 30th when the campaign ended

The Herbivorous Butcher 

The Herbivorous Butcher has very classic packaging and a savory, sweet and spicy product line that includes smokey house ribs, teriyaki jerky, pepperoni, deli bologna, Italian sausage and a weekly special that is prepared by the butcher.

The siblings have big plans for the worlds first Vegan butcher shop by adding vegan breads, cheeses, rubs, marinades and other gluten free products and ship small hand made batches around the US to grow their business and show the world how meatless meat should be done!

Check them out on Facebook!

FindingVegan: A Vegan Social Sharing Network

Endless Articles for Vegans is a great Vegan website that allows a user to upload an image and a link to a Vegan article. Essential for die hard Vegans as well as any individual interested in Veganism or becoming a Vegan full time.  Kathy Patalsky from Polished DC, LLC took the vision of the site to reality and it has become a very high quality vegan tool for the world to use.

findingvegan homepage

Finding Vegan is very clean and easy to use with it's image grid template and simplicity of design. After you make your account you can start submitting links vegan articles. Most users tend to submit recipes but there are all kinds of articles about vegans.

findingvegan crop feature
All images and links are hand selected by the staff of FindingVegan. This is the key reason why the site has only links to high quality articles and has such a loyal and dedicated community posters. Every image must be cropped but Finding Vegan has this functionality built into the website.

Be sure to check out today. Veganism is a journey of knowledge, dedicated and power. The internet is an endless wealth of information for Vegans and it is import to always continue to research, educate others and discover new recipes to achieve nirvana.

5 Benefits of Running in your Relationship

Running with your significant other is a great way to create a positive impact in your relationship. Here are 5 reasons why you should start running with your partner today!

1. Spend quality time together 

 Let's face it, we all spend way too much time with our eyes glued on a screen. Running is one of the most natural activities you can participate in. The instinct to run is embedded into our DNA from when our ancestors had to run from predators in order to survive. There is a primal urge to run and running with the person you love evokes a powerful love connection. Running can be turned into a playful activity and you can be creative as you want. You can run any time or place. Play a game of tag, why not!

2. Become a "Hot Couple"  

Everyone want's to be that model couple with perfectly toned bodies, healthy skin with an aura of happiness emanating. Running is one of the best ways to push each other and become overall healthier and happier individuals. Running regularly with your significant other and always pushing each other will lead to noticeable results and make each other feel more confident about the way they feel. A sure way to spice up your love connection!

3. Increased Energy  

Running on a regular basis will increase your natural energy levels over time. If your find yourself being the couple who only lays on the couch watching Law and Order SVU then goes to sleep, you should substitute your unhealthy night habits with an energizing run. Running at night is always fun and adventurous - you never know where you will end up and can make for a romantic evening. Just remember to be safe and run quickly away from danger!

4. Push Each other to achieve fitness goals  

It is easy to fall into an unhealthy routine in a relationship that will build unwanted animosity towards each other and make you lose sight of your fitness goals. Running is an amazing stress reliever and the cornerstone of any successful fitness regiment. Run with your partner and push them to run longer, faster and harder every time. Set goals for each other and stick to them. If one partner does not stick to the plan, have penalty system. We like to bribe each other with foot massages :) ... Every relationship has their own nuances!

5. Meet new people!  

As a couple it is important to meet other people and not just be hermits. Run with friends, family and other couples to deepen your relationship and make new connections. Sign up for running groups or create your own! It's always essential to socialize in a relationship to make new friendships.

Have any other advice for running couples? Let us know in the comments!

Runner of the Week 9/14/2014: Sheralee Hopgood

sheralee hopgood


Sheralee Hopgood




United Kingdom

Short bio (for introduction).

Hi folks! I'm a runner, I'm vegan, I bake, I write and anything else that makes me feel good!

What got you interested in running?

About a year ago a very dear friend passed away suddenly and life got very shook up. I felt the need to look after myself, not just for me but for those around me too, and in the UK our NHS offer a free couch 2 5k service. I began the c25k journey first in July, feel out of practise and then again in November. I 'graduated' (a full 30 minute run!) in February this year and have never looked back!

Are you Vegan or Vegetarian? For how long? Why did you decide to give plant-based a try?

I am vegan for almost 6 years now, and before that vegetarian for 20-odd years. I remember watching an episode of a food-based competition programme, and a guest/competitor was hosting a vegan dinner party. It sparked my curiosity and I started looking into changing my diet. It was going to be a month's trial....! It became a way of life so quickly I can't really remember going from 'it's just an experiment' to 'heck yeah, I'm vegan'!

What keeps you motivated?

Sometimes nothing keeps me motivated and I flop out with a big bowl of Booja-Booja chocolate truffles! But always I miss the sense of freedom and the achievement of running and it draws me back time after time. It's one of the best stress busters going!

If you could run with anyone (living/dead), who would it be?

Mo Farah, if I could keep up. Albert Einstein, if I could speak German, or Kimi Raikkonen if I could stop for ice cream too!

What is your all-time favorite race? Why?

My very first race is my favourite. Nike's We Own The Night 10k at Victoria Park in London. I was asked to go along by a FB buddy who I had never met and I was nervous, so nervous. I had previously only run up to 8k and had only been running 'properly' for 3 months. But I went and it was such a fantastic event and atmosphere. One I will never forget!

How has running changed your life?

It has made me a calmer, happier, healthier person. It has also helped with quitting smoking and drinking, so all thumbs up!

What foods do you use to fuel (or recover from) your runs?

I have a rice cake with peanut butter and a glass of chocolate soya milk, or a coffee if it's been a cold run!

What piece of running gear could you not possibly live without?

My trainers!

What do you tell yourself when you are struggling?

Keep going, keep going, keep going...!

What advice would you give to someone who's new to running?

Trainers! Whatever you decide to wear or wherever you decide to run, have a gait analysis and get decent footwear! I've had ITBS due to poor shoes and I will never again buy without a fitting, it just isn't worth it.

Do you have any current goals? Races?

I have a 10k race tomorrow (14/9/14) which is for the MS Society UK. There's another 10k in 2 weeks with a running buddy, and a 15k race mid-October. Then my very first half marathon in March next year! After that, al being well, training for a full marathon??!!!

Website or Blog URL?

What is your blog/website about? (if applicable)

It's a blog for vegan recipes and short stories.
Where can we find you on social media? (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram)
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (coming soon!), Google

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