2023 in running and plans for 2024

Overall, 2023 mostly sucked (both “globally” for the world and “locally” for me and people around me), so training was more than a welcome distraction.

In total, it was 2537 miles of running (409 hours) plus 14 hours of cycling (so much for having a fancy road bike and barely using it, but running is somehow more fun and easier logistically). To compare, in 2022 I ran 1609 miles, in 2021 — 399 miles and in 2020 (when I resumed endurance sports after years of sedentary and one may say self-destructive lifestyle) — 292 miles. I’m super happy with this trend, especially since hobbies in general seldom stick for me and being really excited about something for four years is pretty amazing! If you want to read more about how I got into running and what allows me to be so consistent, check out this post.

[This is my now preferred way to visualize the volume: average weekly volume over the last K weeks for K = 1, 2, …, 52. It shows both short-term and long-term gains quite well in a single curve.]

In the end of 2022, I started working with a (remote) coach (Lindsey Herman). As a result, my training is now quite a bit smarter and better-structured than before (I hope to blog about it at some point).

In 2023, I raced one marathon, three half-marathons and two 5Ks (parkruns), and PR’d in all three distances:

  • 5K PR went down from 21:37 to 21:18 [this PR, I feel, is a bit soft and in the right conditions I should be able to go noticeably faster];
  • Half-marathon PR went down from 1:43:02 to 1:39:40 [on the contrary, this is a pretty strong time, and after setting it, I had difficulty coming close to it again];
  • Marathon PR went down from 3:43:45 to 3:34:07 [the variance in marathon is so high that it’s hard to judge things based on just two samples].

For 2024, my two main running projects are:

  • Race my first (road) ultra: 55-mile Comrades Marathon in South Africa in June. Here I’m excited not only about the race itself, but about a trip to a location that is nothing like anything I’ve seen or experienced before. I hope to blog about both training process and the trip/race themselves in detail. Meanwhile, let me know if you raced Comrades or traveled to South Africa, I’d be happy to chat!
  • Race my third marathon: California International Marathon in Sacramento in December.

Overall, in terms of running I had an amazing year, so I cautiously hope to have at least comparable 2024 in terms of consistency, avoiding injuries and burn-out and preserving and cultivating joy as much as possible.

How was your 2023 in training and what do you hope to achieve in 2024?