How to Find Your Goal Pace and I Swam Laps! (Recipe: Stovetop Tarragon Chicken)

So, have you ever wondered how to set a goal time that is achievable but that you will need to work for?  I googled it.  I found some steps I thought I’d share with you.

First, establish your baseline. Determine your current fitness level. If you’ve run a race recently, you can use this time to extrapolate what you could run for a longer or shorter distance. Greg McMillan has a great calculator on his site.  If you plan to race the same distance again, no calculations are needed. Simply use this time as your data point for step 2.  Don’t have a recent race time to use?  Either a) run a local 5K, or b) complete a 1-mile time trial.

The second step is to factor in your likely rate of improvement. If you’ve been running less than a year and improving with each race, you can expect about a 6 to 8% improvement in performance over the course of your training. As an example, if your data point shows you’re in 4:30 shape for the marathon, you’d be looking at a goal time of about 4:08 to 4:13.

If you’ve been running for more than a year but you’re still PRing in most races and are increasing your commitment to training, you can expect a 4 to 6% improvement in your performance.

If you’re more experienced and have been training for many years, then you should expect a 2 to 4% improvement in performance.

What next?  Adjust and adapt your rate of performance as you see how your training progresses. After 3 to 4 weeks, if you think you’ve gotten fitter or you want to measure your rate of improvement to determine if you’re making progress towards your ultimate goal, run another race. You should be able to tell.

I’m working on getting closer to my goal pace! Although I feel like every run I have done recently has been excruciatingly harder than it should be. Last week was my highest mileage week since my marathon–that is week 7 of my recovery training.  Want to know what that mileage was? It is actually quite pathetic. 16.42 miles. Yeah. That has got to change.  Now.

However, I did get in the pool at my gym! I swam laps for the first time since I fractured my shoulder last August! I could feel my left shoulder/rotator cuff with every stroke. But I got in the pool! I’m not quite sure how long the pool is–I think 25 yards? That was what the girl in the lane next to me guestimated. If that’s the case I swam 750 yards. Also kind of pathetic, but I am proud of myself for finally getting in the pool! I just need to keep it up! Yay for good workouts!

Food for Thought:  Oranges.  In one study, subjects with osteoarthritic knee pain who took a daily orange-peel extract for eight weeks reported a drop in knee pain and had lower levels of an inflammatory compound than a placebo group.  The effect was due to a bioflavonoid in citrus called nobiletin.

2 years ago: Our Littlest is Engaged!!! (Recipe: Cinnamon Chip Bars)

Quote of the Day:

“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” -Larry James

So, I wasn’t uber impressed with this chicken dish. I have been trying to up my protein, but there was something about this chicken that I wasn’t a fan of.

Stovetop Tarragon Chicken

Stovetop Tarragon Chicken


– 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves

– 2 teaspoons paprika

– 1 tablespoon olive oil

– 1 package (10 oz) julienned carrots

– 1/2 pound sliced fresh mushrooms

– 2 cans reduced-fat reduced-sodium condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted

– 3 teaspoons dried tarragon

– 1 tablespoon lemon juice

– 3 small zucchini, thinly sliced


– Sprinkle chicken with paprika. In a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Cook chicken 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned; remove from pan.

– Add carrots and mushrooms to same pan; cook, covered, 6-8 minutes or until carrots are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally.

– In a small bowl, mix soup, tarragon and lemon juice; pour over vegetables. Return chicken to pan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low. Cook, covered, 8 minutes.

– Top with zucchini; cook, covered, 6-8 minutes longer or until a thermometer inserted in chicken reads 165* and vegetables are tender

Courtesy of Taste of Home

This entry was posted in Individual Workouts, Nutrition, Recipes. Bookmark the permalink.

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