With 2020 over with and my rest week at an end, it's time to get started with the year ahead.

Much like the previous year, I see this one with very few races happening due to the pandemic. This lack of purpose or goal has been an issue for many runners. Thankfully, it hasn't bothered me too much. But with a second year of no real goal, the motivation did take a minor dip, so I thought I'd set myself some goals.

The Primary Goal

A simple but year long goal, is to run the total distance of the Appalachian Trail. Many are doing "Run 2021 miles for 2021", understandably, but I wanted something a little more ... interesting.

I only found out about this challenge via my partner who was looking for something to encourage her, and it sounded like great fun.

Challenge Breakdown:
Challenge Name: Appalachian Trail Virtual Challenge
Total Miles: 1968 Miles
Time Scale: 52 Weeks
Weekly Mileage: 37.8 Miles

The Reward:

That's a pretty cool looking medal, and I'm looking forward to hanging that with the others.

As an added bonus, Conqueror Events will donate to plant a tree for every 20% of the distance you complete.

They do all sorts of distances from 21 miles, all the way up to 2280 (Route 66), so if you're after something fun and interesting, take a look here: https://www.theconqueror.events/all-challenges/

Secondary Helper Goals

To assist with the primary goal of the year and clearing those 40 mile weeks, a little purpose can really help. Not that a 40-mile week is a lot for me, but it's nice to have smaller attainable goals building in to a larger overall purpose.

So for this year I'll be aiming to run a marathon every month except January which I will use for base training to prepare for February. If I'd have thought it through before Christmas, I probably could have been ready for January.

To collect a little bling for my troubles, I'm going to be entering some virtual events at Virtual Marathon Series. The first of which is Run Athens on Sunday 21st February.

March brings around the Run Tokyo event. After that, I'm not sure how it's going to work as most of the other events seem to have already happened, but they may get refreshed.


As a bit of a summary, I'm aiming to run a total of 1968 miles over 52 weeks. The base of this is going to be via 11 marathons and the training miles required for them. Hopefully this will work out okay.

Photo by Scott Longerbeam on Unsplash