Goals for 2015

I set a few goals last year, and all things considered I did pretty well at working towards them. I blew my running mileage goal right out of the water. I met and exceeded my cycling goal too. And though I didn’t achieve my ambitious weight loss goal, I did make good progress.

As I start 2015 I’m in the best shape of my life. I’m at the lowest weight of my adult life too, just over 190 pounds.

I can run faster and farther than ever before. I’ve set a number of personal bests for long bike ride speeds, and can easily handle a 40 mile ride on any of my working bikes. I plan to increase my cycling mileage significantly this year, and get in century ride shape again.

But last year’s goals were simply progress to a number. Measuring runs and bike rides and daily weigh ins and watching the total tick closer to the goal. All they really took was persistence, even if that wasn’t easy.

So what should I do for 2015? Plan another 1,000 miles running, maybe go up to 1,500 miles riding? I think those are fine places to start, but I have a harder set to work for.

Here’s my plan then, for 2015:


I would like to repeat this year’s total distance, so I’ll set a goal of 1,000 miles. That’s just under 20 miles a week, which is doable as long as I run routinely, like I already do. I consider that my easy goal.

But I have harder goals. I want to run at least two 10k races and two half marathons this year. Before year’s end I want to run a 10k in 50 minutes or less, and a half marathon under 2 hours. Those are the hard ones.

My personal best for a half marathon run is 2:03:07, 9:23 a mile. I only need to drop to a 9 minute mile over 13 miles to break 2 hours, so this should be relatively easy. 9 minutes a mile was 2014’s 10k pace, but I already know I can do this with the right training.

My personal best for a 10k run is 54:07, so I need to improve from 8:42 a mile to an 8 minute mile. That’s a huge change. I can run a mile under 8 minutes, but right now my best 5k is at an 8:15 pace. I think I can do it, and my best chance is probably a race in the midwest where there’s more air to breathe. This may be the hardest goal I have. If I don’t make it at least I’ll have tried.


I’m going to do at least 1,500 miles in 2015. This should be pretty easy, since my second cycling goal is to ride RAGBRAI. Between training for the ride and the ride itself I should have no trouble hitting this distance. I’m looking forward to seeing how much faster I can ride as I get into even better shape.

I probably won’t buy any new bikes in 2015, but I may get a new bike computer/GPS.


This is the big one, and what all my other goals are at least tangentially related to. I’ve been overweight my entire adult life, and rarely been under 200 pounds in that time. At worst I got up over 240, and was hardly active at all. Since then I’ve made my way below 200 twice: in 2008 and again in 2014. The loss in 2008 was almost entirely reduced calories, with some cycling. 2014 was partially reduced calories, but a big part of my relative success was the huge amount of running and cycling I did. It made it possible for me to not feel starved or overly deprived of food I love, but still burn more energy than I consumed.

I had hoped last year to get down from about 215 to 175 pounds, a 40 pound drop. I ended up at a little over 190, a smaller loss but still a success, at least as I measure my waistline.

But I’m still carrying too much extra weight. It’s obvious to me, though I am grateful that my family and friends focus on the loss when they see me.

My plan for 2015 is therefore to drop another 20 pounds, and then settle on a weight between 170 and 175 pounds. That puts me in the normal range for my height and frame. Then I’ll stop and take stock. It may be I need to lose more, or it may be that I want to keep that weight but add additional strength training. Since this is uncharted territory I won’t know until I get there. But I’ll keep you posted.

— Steve

Posted on 01 January 2015