James Bateson Personal Site: Post

A year in running - 2021

As another tough year finishes, I thought I would reflect on how my year of running has gone, and what I have in mind for next (this) year's goals.

Running has been another key coping mechanism for me this year, at a time where anxiety, stress, depression, and loneliness have been bad for not just me, but so many more.

To be honest, in the first half of the year, I felt a little lost with my running. I was running all my runs at a hard to medium pace with no particular structure. I picked up a knee injury at the end of 2019 and struggled with this for a good six months, often pushing through discomfort to get out. RED January which I set out to do, didn't quite go to plan and I had to swap out a lot of runs with cross-training.

In the second half of the year, I decided that I wanted to rekindle my love with running again and look forward to getting out again, bringing some of the enjoyment back. So I took up some running coaching with Rowan Wood. Rowan's had a hugely positive effect on my running the last 5 months or so. Including a structured plan and goals, that have got me some of the way back to where I want to be, but most importantly loving my running again.

So here are the stats I ended up with at the end of the year:

  • 1328 miles distance
  • 81,463 feet elevation gain
  • 74 Parkruns (so good to have these back)
  • 2 sub 20 5km runs

Although I only really met my distance goal for the year (nearly 100 miles more!) I'm still very happy with what I have achieved. Having Parkrun return was so good for not only the running routine but also for my mental health. I managed to get 2 Lakeland Trails events in as well as a few shorter road races to work on my speed.

2022 is going to bring some change for me in terms of where I live. I'll hopefully be moving to the Manchester area at the end of January. That being said, I hope that I can still push on with the progress I've made this year. I've set the following goals:

  • 1500 miles distance
  • 100,000 feet elevation gain
  • 100 Parkruns
  • Marathon distance
  • Ultra distance
  • Join a running club

I have two ultra marathons booked. The Lap in Windermere in the middle of May and then the Lakeland Trails Ambleside 55Km in July. I have a lot of work to do before these though, so hopefully can find some routes and maybe a club to help do this in Manc as soon as possible!

Happy New Year and here's to a good 2022! 🎉