Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Revised Training and Race Plan for 2016

Back in January (or even last December) I had a great plan for 2016. It had lots of lofty goals and personal bests...but I pushed too hard in training and became ill twice...and got achy a few times. I was on the verge of a breakdown. I'm older and wiser now. Need to adjust my plans for the year.

I have one main goal for the entire year: qualify for the Boston Marathon at the Jack & Jill Downhill Marathon (July 31). Notice the title of that trace? "Downhill." I like the sound of that marathon. I'm tossing out the idea of a PR at the Illinois Half-Marathon on April 30. To stay on track for the marathon PR (and BQ), I simply need to run "well" at the half-marathon. Something like 1:38 will do just fine. Much slower than my current half-marathon best, but it still predicts a 3:26 marathon. That'll work! And it seems doable.

To achieve that 1:38 (or better) finish time at the half-marathon in late April, I'm currently running consistently, inserting tempo runs, and implementing longer weekend trail runs. Nothing crazy, just 10-13 mile efforts on rolling trails. I'll race at least one 5K just to get that feeling of pushing very hard. Nothing beats experiencing that burn! And to have a baseline for what my half marathon (or marathon) time might be based on the 5K finish.

After the half-marathon, I'll turn my attention to endurance and stamina. More medium length runs (8-12 miles) and long jaunts (18-20 miles). I'll still incorporate tempo runs, but probably longer "steady-state" tempo efforts (6-9 miles) rather than the typical short (2-4 mile) lactate-threshold runs. No structured training scheme. Just simple stuff.

Best laid plans of mice and men. (And runners.) We'll see how this goes. I hope I'm left with more than grief and pain.

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