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Neil Featherby: Set your goals to what is achievable for a successful 2019

Neil Featherby on a training run. Picture: Neil Featherby

Neil Featherby on a training run. Picture: Neil Featherby

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‘New Year, New You’... so many people chase change at this time of year and running and fitness is a big part of their New Year’s resolutions.

However, this is something which is not just applicable to those people who perhaps haven’t done any exercise for a number of years, but also applicable to many regular runners who have now decided that this is going to be the year when they really do focus on achieving goals and targets which they are confident they can achieve.

It is the same every year and is something which we see and hear at Sportlink each time January comes around. Needless to say this is brilliant, but and at the same time we do also unfortunately see lots of people who, for the want of a better word, fail to live up to their intentions by as early as February or March.

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This of course is down to several reasons which might mean over exuberance initially and then once the novelty has worn off they give up. Or and more often than not they just do far too much too soon which either leads to a very quick burn out through mental and physical pressures or injury and disappointment due to not allowing the body to become accustomed to the stresses which are being applied when following a running programme.

The idea of being super fit and being the best you can be is great, but you have to be realistic. Planning is key to following any running schedule which needs to be designed in a way where you know you can stick to it whilst also being consistent and patient.

I know I have said this so many times before, but for anyone who this is applicable too, then look at your lifestyle and plan your running/exercise regime around it.

Yes, you may be capable of a sub three-hour marathon as I believe Mark Armstrong is, but can you also realistically fit the required training time into what is a very busy work schedule along with any family or social commitments? If you can’t then reset your goals to a plan which will fit into and around what has to be considered as obligations so as to maintain harmony in your life and of course continued progression with your training.

For the more serious athletes out there, they will have had their 2019 planned out well in advance, but at the same time they will also be working to a very structured plan.

Therefore whether you are just starting out or indeed are an experienced athlete with specific races and PBs targeted, I wish you all the very best for the year ahead.

This weekend sees the Norfolk Cross Country Championships at Thetford. 2018 most certainly demonstrated that here in Norfolk we have some pretty amazing talent coming through in the men’s and women’s ranks for which it has also pushed some of the more experienced runners on to another level too. With this in mind it all makes for some highly competitive racing and of course strong teams to represent Norfolk at the Inter Counties X/C Championships in March.

Needless to say, good luck to everyone taking part.

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