In 2018 I challenged myself to run 18 half marathons. I achieved it with a bit of a struggle in the end (read all about it here), and it brought with it an added but unexpected bonus in that I set personal best times for across every recognised distances. Some I smashed, some I barely scraped but set them I did.

This was unintentional but it got me thinking about my challenge for 2019 … if I consciously targeted PB’s across the board could I achieve them?

But what time to target? Whilst even a second is something to celebrate I wanted to set the bar a wee bit. I settled on a 10% improvement per distance.

That wasn’t a figure I just plucked out of the air, there’s a bit of logic behind it. Well, Martin logic anyway.

Many running plans – especially long distance plans – recommend increasing your mileage by around 10% week on week. In addition to that, I have ten targets in mind so it all seemed to be a perfect fit.

Granted, 10% doesn’t sound a lot but when you’re as slow as me it’s actually pretty tough. My challenge last year was all about finishing, this year it’s all about finishing faster.

So, let’s look at the distances, my current PBs and what I’m trying to achieve …

Yes, I know 5k and parkrun are the same distance but because parkrun offers it’s own statistics and presents a specific set of challenges with regard to conditions, courses etc. I thought I’d include it … plus it gives me my tenth target!

Will I achieve this? Will I achieve any of it? Who knows? Maybe I will, maybe I won’t but it’s all designed to turn me into a better runner. I’ll have to work harder and train smarter.

Some are daunting, some I’ll earmark specific races for, and some I’ll attempt in training … but as long they’re recorded either in official results or on my Garmin then they’ll count.

I’ve got a year to do it. I’ll take the first couple of months to lose weight, build up my fitness and work on my speed before starting to focus on picking them off one by one.