2020 Fitness Goals Revisited
As we enter 2021, I like to reflect on my prior year’s goals and set new goals for the year. I had no specific PR goals athletically, but still wanted to hold myself accountable and stay consistent in maintaining my health. My thought wasn’t to “improve my PR’s” this year but, rather, it was to “improve my baseline” – my baseline being what I expect of myself on any given day.
For the most part, I didn’t achieve my 2020 goals in the fitness realm, while I did in other aspects of life (i.e. career, personal, etc.). Sometimes that’s just the way it goes.
My 2020 goals and their results:
Performance Goals: Mostly unsuccessful. These were goals that I wanted to be “baseline” to achieve and stay capable of doing year round.
- 6 Minute Mile: Untested. Likely achieved in the middle part of the year, but probably would not have been able to pass this test year-round.
- 20 Minute 5K: Was running a 21-ish mile 5K in summer prior to the fires. Unsuccessful.
- 4 Hour Marathon: Not in the proper shape to achieve at any point this year. Unsuccessful.
- Big SURreal Virtual Challenge: Completed, but the only runs I did during that time were for the race because of the air quality. Successful.
- Run 30 Miles for my 30th Birthday: This one has been on my list for a while, so I wasn’t going to miss it. Successful.
- Weight (150lbs): For most of the year no, around 155lbs year round. As of 12/31/20, I’m weighing 160lbs, so that’s the first thing I’ll have to shed in 2021. Unsuccessful.
- 1,000 Miles over the Year: Failed. I ran 868 miles in 2020, averaging 16.7 miles per week. This was negatively impacted by the fires, and my resistance to running in even borderline air conditions. I didn’t run between 8/15 – 9/15, with the exception of the Big Sur 21-miler on 9/5. Unsuccessful.
- Bench Press (1.5x bodyweight): Untested and unsure.
- Squat (2x bodyweight): Untested and unsure.
- Resting Heart Rate (<40): Met for the first 9 months of the year, RHR has gone up in winter. Unsuccessful
- VO2 Max (>54): Untested but unlikely
Sleep Goal = 3.5hrs of Deep + REM: Mostly achieved.
I wrote about the importance of sleep and how I really dial in on my hours of deep and REM sleep (as opposed to total hours in bed). I was already getting to my 3.5hrs of deep + REM sleep goal before the most unlikely of “hacks” came to improve those numbers drastically – changing my pillow. Sometimes the solutions come in the simplest of ways, and after changing to a firmer pillow (I’m a back sleeper), my averages went up to 4.5-5 hrs/night of Deep + REM sleep.
I had backed into my prior goal of 3.5 hours of Deep + REM sleep, estimating the average person sleeps for 8 hours, and using the mid-point of this Oura data to estimate 18% of it in deep sleep (1.45 hours) and 22% of it in REM sleep (1.75 hours), or 3.2 hours in Deep + REM Sleep. I was quite happy with my prior goal of 3.5hrs/night, but given I can get it up to 4.5hrs/night, I’m using 4hrs as the new target for 2021.
Other Goals – Intermittent Fasting and Diet: Yes
I set a goal to intermittent fast 3x/week, which is something I’ve done for the past 3 years and continued to do. Working from home made it possible to cook every meal and not feel pressured to eat out and not know exactly what I’m putting in my body. I was able to control for the ingredients in my food, minimizing sugar while eliminating bad vegetable oils and processed foods entirely (not that there was much of that previously).
An Unexpected Goal: Putting Out Courses and this Blog
This wasn’t a pre-2020 goal, but nobody expected 2020 to unfold the way it did. I ended up spending a lot of time putting together this blog, putting out online courses, and coaching virtually. Not a listed goal – but something that I’m proud of in 2020!
Training Cap (under 20 hrs per week): I wrote about this here. Achieved. By a little too much.
- My goal was efficiency over total output. As a professional with a career outside of fitness, I know that I can’t lose track of time and let my fitness goals bleed over into other areas of my life. In order to this, I had to map out the 168 hours I had in a week and set a goal to cut my training and coaching commitments below that. My hourly commitments were as follows:
- Running: 7 Hours/Week.
- This budget included a conservative 4 hours for our large group trail runs. The remaining 3 hours would be done throughout the week. As you’ll read later, I didn’t meet my weekly mileage goal. But in terms of staying under 7 hours/week, I met that just fine.
- Dreamland Boxing (Coaching): 5 Hours/Week.
- Previously this was a lot more. But at the start of the year, I was closing at the gym and coaching at events and tournaments. Later in the year, I was doing instagram live classes, Zoom classes, and putting together online boxing courses. At the end of the year, I coached two Zoom classes on Wednesday’s for Dreamland Boxing members who were unable to attend the in-person classes and an outdoor class on Fridays. I probably went over my hourly budget when putting together the online courses, but that cut into other buckets of my training.
- Boxing Training & Strength and Conditioning: 3 Hours/Week.
- These weren’t as routine on the schedule as they were entirely up to me to do, but I averaged around 3 hours/week in these buckets.
- PerformanceGaines: 3 Hours/Week
- This one was like clockwork. I did two kettlebell classes and a Move, Sweat, Smile class every week to stay on target.
- Recovery: 2 Hours/Week
- This budget assumed that I would go into Sports Medicine Institute 4x/week to do Ice Baths and my Normatec recovery. Due to the pandemic, I haven’t been back to SMI since February.
- My main forms of recovery now are:
- Running: 7 Hours/Week.
- Result: Achieved. Although, with my type-A nature, when I set a cap on my training hours I like to stay exactly on it. If I say I want to train less than 20 hours a week, that really means ideally I’ll train just under that. Going too far under can leave me itching to find ways to get those training hours up without compromising other aspects of my life.
2020 left me unfulfilled in my athletic pursuits, but I’m coming off a high of years filled with PR after PR. Putting things in perspective, I once thought running a marathon was a crazy idea. So I’m okay with setting ambitious goals and failing to meet them.
About the Author:
Coach Ian is an ultra-marathon runner and a volunteer coach at the non-profit boxing organization, Dreamland Boxing, in San Jose, CA. He competed in boxing for both Dreamland and collegiately at UCLA. His goal is to empower all to be the best that they can be, in boxing and in life. You can find Coach Ian on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.
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