The New Year Objectives

It was so much easier writing New Year’s posts when my life could be divided into training and racing and goals were a matter of becoming faster. Not so simple now. In the last month I have thoroughly discussed my plans for 2013, most of what I want to achieve can be categorised either into: work, in the broadest sense, or life, which isn’t always relevant to these pages. My sporting performance could be relegated to a footnote, but out of a sense of sentimentality I will give it a paragraph of its own.

In fact it will be the easiest paragraph to write. In 2013 I will run. Specifically I will race at least one marathon and aim to beat my current personal best. On occasion I’ve spoken of setting a more significant PB and while that remains a possibility I’m waiting to see how my preparation for Brighton Marathon in April goes before I commit myself. If my motivation and commitment proves sufficient I will set myself a more challenging goal for the second half of the year; otherwise I shall keep my focus on general fitness and health.

My coaching business remains at capacity – when one athlete moves on another is there to take their place. It’s a comforting position to be in, but means expansion isn’t a realistic goal. Improvement is always an objective, although hard to measure in terms of outcomes, as a process though I can commit myself to further study and research alongside continued practice. Regrettably my personal focus remains with efficiency and time management, another year on and I have failed to master either. Any notion of taking my coaching further, of improving it, will be dependent on those two skills.

One specific focus is the training camp – reassuringly full and only 5 weeks away – the goal will be to ensure everyone has the opportunity to build and test early season fitness. I’m catering for a range of athletes so the biggest challenge will be ensuring they each get what they need from the camp. If athletes leave tired, fitter and importantly injury free I will be happy (as I hope they will be). If it is a success it may become a bigger part of my business in the future.

Without the framework of my own training there are times when I’ve felt this blog lacked direction, posts being a mix of semi-personal musings on my own failure to perform and occasional training advice. Despite this, I’ve seen a growing audience, particularly with the increased focus on training and results analysis. I will keep the mix of content, but recognise my niche when I see it. I won’t go into specifics at this point, but there are a number of data related projects I want to bring to completion in 2013.

The disappointment I felt reviewing 2012 has helped shape this year’s objectives into their current unspecific and less committing form. There is a risk that in seeking realism I have neglected drive and motivation and in December I may find myself reviewing a year that achieved little. As with any New Year there is a lot of potential, whether I make the most of it all is the important question.


  • Interesting ‘musings’ Russell. I feel much the same about my coaching, I just don’t seem to have direction. Whilst I don’t coach anywhere near as many people as you I’m at a bit of a loss as to where to take it. Success-wise for clients has been quite poor if I’m honest and whilst I know it’s not me as a coach that’s failed I can’t help but feel some of that sense of failure – I just seem to attract people with over-inflated dreams. Perhaps it’s because I’ve laid the foundations of my coaching on ‘dreams’ after all 7yrs ago as I approached my first Half Ironman race I never dreamt I’d be so passionate about it all and able to achieve what I have. I’ve also probably dabbled in lots of difference aspects of the whole thing, racing myself extensively; writing; coaching; taking up swim coaching with disabled kids and then there’s the media side of things, but then that’s perhaps it, Jack of all trades, Master of none:)

  • Annette,

    At times it’s hard to consider a bigger picture with regard to coaching: what I’m doing now works for most athletes, I’m getting results for a lot of them (not always hitting goals, but improving performances), and numbers tend to remain at capacity with plenty of interest. Which means really obvious ways to develop like coaching more aren’t really available and coaching ‘better’ is hard to quantify. There’s always more to learn and new ideas developing so committing myself to those kind of improvements and broadening my understanding is one area, although the returns may be hard to measure. Of course I could continue to seek more qualifications, although my options are relatively limited and some of those qualifications are more questionable than others. Developing as a coach remains a little vague and are look for new opportunities.

    So I do also dabble. I update the blog frequently. I test out new ideas with the data I gather in training and coaching. Now branch out into examining results from races. It is a little Jack of all trades as I dig up old programming skills and start making use of them. But it does give me more options and there is a clear interest in a lot of these new directions even if they don’t feed directly back into my coaching. Just got to ensure they stay in balance.

    It’s vague, but I’d like to see a few of my ideas to fruition this year, too often I have little projects that stagnate over time.