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Looking back, going forwards

16 October, 2010

Victoria was more or less the end of this racing season. There is the Haney to Harrison relay coming up, and I may also jump into a cross-country or 5k race here and there, but there isn’t anything on the horizon in the way of goal races. This has given me the space to think about what’s gone right this year and what can be done better.

As I remarked before, my mindset as a runner has matured. I’m racing better insofar as pacing, and similarly I’ve mostly avoided my old habit of pushing myself over the edge in training. The exception was the second week before Victoria, but then again, overtraining is a grey area, and it’s necessary sometimes to have a look over the edge so that you can find where exactly the footing becomes unsteady!

My main challenge going forward is to work out how to increase my volume without getting burned out. I’ve yet to maintain any volume above 75km per week. It seems to me that the weak link is my immune system, and possibly my calf muscles (on which I have several glowing hotspots at this time). My working hypothesis is that my immune system would be stronger if I could gain about 10lbs. Assuming I can do this, I’d then trim down as I get closer to a goal race in the new year. This won’t be easy for me! But there are worse hardships than having to eat more, and I think it’s the only way that I can build my sustainable mileage and weekly training volume.

It may be better to only observe one variable at a time if you’re testing an hypothesis, but life is too messy for that kind of simplicity, and therefore I’m also going to slightly change the structure of my training week. I’m working out a skeleton that will include doubling on two or three days of the week, but I will be starting with very low distances i.e. 5km in the morning, 5km in the evening for Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; keep the same format of hills/tempo/long intervals on Tuesdays, and intervals/speedwork on Thursdays, with a long run on Sunday.

I would like to run a marathon in the spring, but it will be contingent on getting to 75-80km per week as the basic amount, peaking at 85-90+km. Either way, I will race either the First Half or the Historic Half marathon.

This is where I need to go, how I will get through the winter:
Monday am: 8km easy, pm: 8km easy.

Tuesday pm: 8km tempo.

Wednesday am: 8km easy, pm: 8km easy.

Thursday pm: 8km total (intervals incl. warm-up/down).

Friday am: 8km easy, pm 8km easy.

Saturday: rest.

Sunday: 25km.

List in order of priority (most to least):

  1. Sunday long run
  2. Thursday pm
  3. Tuesday pm
  4. Wednesday pm
  5. Friday pm
  6. Monday pm
  7. Friday am
  8. =Wednesday am
  9. Monday am

If I can get to this point by the end of January, or possibly February, then I can build up my long run from here and have as shot at the marathon.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Ray permalink
    16 October, 2010 4:44 pm

    Wow, very structured for a winter plan. I kinda like it. I’m all over the place in the winter – it’s my favorite time of the year to train because I’m twice as good in cold temperatures over hot. I simply adore evening snowshoe running with headlamps and jumping around like an idiot. And if we can get enough crusty ice and snow you can really try out things like stabilization on *roads* with your yakx and icespikes. haha, most people just build their base over the winter but I like to mix it up 🙂 Good luck with the weight gain – that’s a license to pig out!

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