Summer Running Goals

standard June 12, 2015 Leave a response

Seven weeks of minimal running was so hard. Honestly, I could handle the single mile and cross training. But the planning, the goals, the food was all hard. After non-stop training for most of last year (Disney, then SeaWheeze and MCM) I was just used to the routine of having a workout, meals, nutrition, and goals mapped out for me every single day. So what did I do with the last 7 weeks? Map out all the workouts, meals, and nutrition for fall racing. I haven’t even signed up for any races yet, but of course that didn’t stop me. It did keep me engaged enough to not run more than needed and actually take a break. And while some people may think of the planning part of training as a time-consuming chore, for me it’s a fun challenge to figure out and execute. And with school starting next month, it will be very convenient to not have to worry about any of my workouts or meal planning. It’s all done and ready to go. I just get to figure out how to fit the time into my days.

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Here are this summer’s goals for easing back into running and fall racing season:

1. Listen to your body. Just because the schedule says so, doesn’t mean you have to do it. Considering this is the opposite mentality of race training, this is definitely a hard one for me. Easing back in to running doesn’t mean suddenly running all the miles every day. If I need to cut back, swap out miles for cross training, or just stop, it is OK. No use getting hurt before fall training even starts.

2. Build speed AND endurance. Since mileage is still fairly low, this is the perfect time to get back to super easy slow miles to build endurance and also incorporate a few speedwork sessions to get the legs used to going fast again.

3. Fuel properly. Part of my June goals was to play around with the balance of macronutrients I took in while strength training. I’m still playing with this for strength but this also comes into play for running. Our muscles need carbs, protein, and fat, but the timing and quantity can definitely help performance. Every one’s bodies respond differently, but the key is to make sure to get enough of all three.

Who else is gearing up for a fun and humid summer of running?

Any takers on signing up for the Austin Distance Challenge with me (it’s fun, I promise!)?

Run Happy: Statesman Cap 10k 2015

standard April 13, 2015 Leave a response

Ever since I ran that first horrible 5k, running has been about the challenge for me. Meeting the goal, beating my previous time, getting faster, going farther. Yes, it’s been fun along the way, or I wouldn’t keep doing it. But I never really stopped and thought about the fun part of it. The focus was always the one step ahead.

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The last three weeks were rough for me and running. My shins decided to rebel as a way of telling me to slow down. Last year I ran two marathons and also tried to reach a really big time goal in two half marathons, with some other fun races thrown in the mix. That’s a lot of running! Immediately trying to get super fast for a 10k personal record was a little stupid of me. And thankfully I listened when my shins screamed back at me. I took a mini-break, slowed down, ran easy miles, mostly just a single one each day. And on Saturday’s pre-race shake out run, I did my usual 3 mile neighborhood loop at a very slow, enjoyable pace. Out of the blue, it just hit me. This is fun. I feel great. I’m so thankful to be out here doing this. And it was a nasty, humid, rainy, foggy morning. I went into Sunday’s race ready to have fun and see what happened.

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An almost 2 minute PR happened. After 3 weeks without training, rain, fog, and 100% humidity. And I loved every painful hill and every curving mile. Running in Austin is a challenge in itself, with its crazy hilly, loopy streets. But I never thought about the challenges yesterday. I was just happy to be out there.

Summer’s coming to Texas. It’s already blazing hot. It’s time for a nice, easy running break. I’ll probably keep up my mile a day, because my brain cannot handle NO running. Unless it needs to. One day at a time. Just running happy.

Getting Speedy: Cap 10k Training

standard February 20, 2015 Leave a response

This month kicked off the first round of speed training for a year of fast, short races.  My two-year old 10k PR of 1:00:10 drives me crazy. I was so close to being under an hour, and I gave that race everything I had in me. (Just reading that race recap makes me realize how far running has taken me in two short years!) I know I can easily beat that record today, but I want to see by how much? How fast can I get? How much stronger have I become in the past two years?

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The training plan I created for myself is a mix of Bart Yasso’s 10k plan from his book, My Life on the Run, and Hansons Marathon Method, which specifies goal speeds for each training run. A typical week looks like this:

  • Sundays: 5-6 mile easy run // 10:52 min pace
  • Mondays: 5-6 mile hill workout // 8:42 min pace
  • Tuesdays: 1 easy mile + Body Pump // 10:00 min pace
  • Wednesdays: 7-8 miles of speed work (400m repeats, Yasso 800s, mile repeats) + yoga //8:03 min pace
  • Thursdays: 1 easy mile + Body Pump // 10:00 min pace
  • Fridays: 5 mile easy run // 10:00 min pace
  • Saturdays: 8 mile long run + Body Pump // 9:52 min pace

Based on these training paces, I should be able to run a 55 minute race, averaging 8:52 minute miles. Some days speed work is easy, some days easy runs are hard, some days I want to run away from all the hills, but each week, I know I am getting stronger. And I really want to hit that goal. It makes me go to bed on time. It keeps me eating well, even when I want to sneak one more treat. And most of all, I’ve noticed it keeps me focused each day on that ONE run. Because each one, whether good or bad, gets me that much closer to the finish line.

Anyone else running the Statesman Cap 10k in April? How’s your training going?

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