As 2013 came to a close my running streak really drove my motivation. No races on the horizon, no specific training taking place. Looking back at my training log, after the Naperville Half I ran 4 harder efforts (one of them being a race), everything else was just easy distance running. Typically my normal mid-week easy day has been 7-8 miles, towards the end of last year I started going 9-10 on those days. That is the first thing I want to change this year. I want to maintain my consistency in training, but also bump my mileage slightly, keep workouts the same, keep long runs the same, but just adding those two miles on easy days. That alone will add 6-8 miles a week. That added mileage leads into my major goal for the year. So instead of weeks of 50-56, I will hopefully run weeks of 56-64.
Working backwards, my first focus for the year is going to be this fall. I am not sure yet what distance I want to race. It’s either going to be a full or half marathon. After Naperville I am confident that I could run faster in the half, but it has also got me thinking more about the full marathon. I had previously sworn off the marathon, because it’s the worst, and I am the worst at it. But after taking about 2 years (so far) away from the distance I have slowly forgotten my sworn hatred of the race. Whichever distance I choose, I am very much looking forward to having a huge summer, taking time to get very race specific with my training (which I didn’t really do for Naperville). I can also spend the spring continuing to build base for the distance.
As far as time goals for the race. If it is the half, I would like to run under 1:13:00. For the marathon (if I do attempt it), since my biggest problem has been my inability to focus on running for that long, my plan right now is if I just hammer it then I don’t have to focus for that long. So my goal is to try to run something in the 2:40-50 range. Just get out and get comfortable about 6:00-20 and click them off, that pace has become pretty reasonable for me in long runs (up to 15) so why not build that foundation and race at it. I think physically I can do it; it’s just a matter of mentally being able to do it. With a summer of building towards attempting that I think I can do it.
The goal race for the fall is going to be the Fox Valley Marathon/Half Marathon. That way I don’t have to decide on a full or half right away (they have a flex option with registration).
For the spring my goal race (as on now) is going to be the Shamrock Shuffle. I haven’t run this race in a few years, and I believe I can get into the elite corral, so might as well go for it. I will gear my harder sessions this spring towards speed and try to run something pretty quick at Shamrock and then maybe find a 5K and 10K to run 3 PRs this spring.
That’s the tentative plan for 2014. What do you have in store for your running in 2014?