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Setting a Goal for 2021: The Boston Project

Jan 3, 2021 | Running, Running Advice | 4 comments

I feel like I lost my identity as a runner this year. I didn’t track how many miles I ran, but I know it will have been the lowest total since I started running.

As 2020 was coming to a close, I knew I wanted to set a big running goal in 2021. I need to readdress the balance between work and my own goals in the coming year. I miss the feeling of a having a big goal, of having an motivator that gets me out of bed in the morning, that pushes me through the tough workouts.

We’ve all lost a lot this year. Most of it out of our control.

Races were deferred and cancelled (and rightly so in my opinion) but that doesn’t stop the frustration. I know I found it difficult to train without having a clear focus or goal. I struggled with motivation and exhaustion. And I gave myself an ‘out’ from training too many times, and whilst I know that many times I really was totally drained, there were other times where I used work and the pandemic as an excuse.

2021 running goals

Setting a Goal for 2021: The Boston Project

My last race was the Atlanta 5K back in February which I ran for fun as part of a long run. And the last time I actually raced was back in January at a 10K in San Diego. I honestly feel nervous about running hard, about racing again. However, I also know how much I enjoy pushing myself, and how I enjoy the feeling of building fitness and strength.

In the past I’ve set a BIG GOAL RACE that I declare I’m going for a certain time at. Well, not this time…not yet.

The goal is to run a BQ – a sub 3.30 race although I haven’t decided on which marathon that will be at yet (and with so many races up in the air right now including the Boston Marathon itself, this approach seems most sensible).

In the past I’ve always had a set date in mind, a marathon I want to run. This time around I’m happy to see how the training goes before picking the race. I have a deferred Chicago Marathon from 2020 as an option on October 10th, however, perhaps Abingdon (a lot closer to home) or Valencia in December might be more realistic.

I have a very long way to go to get to a BQ.

Currently. I’m running a 30 min 5K a couple of times a week so I’m starting with a serious base build before working on some speed work, then a half marathon before amping up the mileage to full marathon training in the Autumn (if all goes to plan!)

2021 running goals

I’ll be posting my weekly plans on instagram and the blog, sharing my runs, as well as my cross-training (Peloton rides and swimming) and strength training. I’m so excited to be working towards something that I have wanted to achieve for so many years but was firmly on the back burner in 2020.

Community is something I’ve massively missed during the past year. So I’m pleased that I won’t be working on my BQ goal alone… a group of 6 of us ladies are going ‘all in’ on our Boston Qualifying goal in 2021 – using each other as accountability buddies, sharing our workouts, strength training and hopefully (if allowed) doing some race weekends together. I’ll be sharing more on these ladies, our training plans etc on Monday!!

Looking for running inspiration? Check out this week’s podcast with Sophie Power talking all about Ultra Running!


  1. Jana

    OMG – same thoughts here! Coming back from a year of injury and craziness… I decided for a time goal as well – and will try to hit it in Munich in October (in case that happens). Have run the course before, it is nice and relatively flat… do you want to join?

  2. Gemma

    I’m thinking about Valencia in December too! I’ve been to Valencia a few times ans it’s a great city, not been in December but I was there in Jan and it was t-shirt weather

  3. Annie

    Love this!! I won’t be running a marathon but I’m getting back to running after having a baby in May. I have set time goals for a 5K and a 10K with a goal to finish a half marathon in 2021. Can’t wait to follow along!!

  4. Pervinder

    What an ambitious target! I would love to be able to do that. I’m just getting back into some serious running as well, but I can’t help wondering whether any major sporting event will be safe this year due to this miserable pandemic. I am hopefully going to reach a solid running base in 2021 with a target of a big marathon in 2022.


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