After 4 years of inactivity on this blog, I’m starting it back up! Over the past couple of years I’ve been running aimlessly. Yes, I’ve done some marathons, and some hard ones at that. Check out my race reports for some write-ups of them. When I trained for my 50 miler, I had a mission. I had focus. I knew what I wanted and how I was getting there. My plan for this blog was to share a lot of what I had been doing and been learning. Unfortunately, I started the blog after I was done with my focused training. Hence, it petered out. It hasn’t been until now that I’ve had that same focus and insight.
It’s the new year and I’ve got some running goals again. This time I hope to keep up with blogging as I’m running. I’m no elite athlete by any means, but I think that will help me connect with you as the reader (assuming you aren’t elite). You can see how a “normal” person can go after their goals and achieve them. I haven’t been one for trying to set time goals since I feel that running for speed is a recipe for injury. Speed happens naturally with time and distance, but now I’m going back on that and have some time as well as distance goals this year.
1. Run 2016 miles in 2016
This one is sort of untrue. My combined mileage with my girlfriend is to get 2016 miles. There is a program for this. If you are interested, check out www.runtheedge.com
2. Run a 3 hour marathon
I have never tried to improve my marathon time. My biggest limiting factor has been endurance rather than speed. This year, I’m going for it. It’s not because of Boston like most people want. I just want to do well at my hometown marathon in Syracuse, NY in October.
3. Run a 50 miler again, in 8 hours.
I always said that I’d do another 50 mile race if I thought I could do it in 8 hours. The last 2 hours of that 10 hour race really killed me. Before that point, I was ok. Not great, obviously, but ok. I think if I’m strong enough for a 3 hour marathon, I’ll be strong enough for a 50 miler the way I want to run it.
My plan for achieving these goals is pretty simple. I’m not revolutionizing, I’m simplifying. I think that will make it easier.
1. Be consistent all year with running
Historically, I’ve had almost half the year off from running due to winter and mental exhaustion. Typically, I train for and run my October marathon every year, then take off a few months for a break, then it’s too cold because of winter, then it’s April. Woah! Where’d the year go? Half of it is gone, and I haven’t been running. This year, I plan to be consistent. Even if I’m not doing 20 milers every weekend, going out for a 6 or something is better than nothing. Then when I do ramp up, I’m already in shape for it and can tolerate it. This will also keep me on track for running the 2016 miles in the year.
2. Get Strong
I’m planning on doing deliberate strength training. Historically, with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Taekwondo as cross-training activities I enjoy, I’ve always just assumed strength was taken care of. This year, I’m focusing on core strengthening and weight training as well. I won’t give up my activities, but I’m also going to focus on getting strong and making sure my weaknesses are taken care of. I know this sounds like it’s going against my cross-training post, but I’ve justified this in my mind. My strength training will be at hours when I wouldn’t be running anyway.
3. Train like I mean it
My training will have some variances in it for the first time. When I got down to a 3:26 marathon and ran the 50 miler, I was only running a lot. I ran slow so I wouldn’t get injured. I ran long to improve my endurance. I never ran fast. This is one of the main reasons I feel a 3 hour marathon is possible for me. I did nothing special to get down to 3:26. I’m going to add in speed work and lots of hill work. Hills are not new to me. I always found them the best way to improve strength while continuing to run slow and long. I’m going to try to nail my marathon target goals by checking my speed with Yasso 800s. Not only will it give me a speed workout, it will tell me where I am for marathon pace all year round. I’m going to run test marathons throughout the year to ensure I’m on target to hit my final 3 hour marathon. Train like I mean it.