I am determined to not let myself completely ignore blogging, in spite of how busy the rest of life becomes…discipline is something all runners need, and it doesn’t come without effort or cost. That same kind of commitment is a necessary ingredient of a successful training plan; no amount of research, spreadsheets, planning or promises will accomplish anything without actually putting in the work – it’s like the old story: three frogs are sitting on a log, and one of them decides to jump into the water; how many are left sitting there? The answer is three…because making a decision changes nothing unless some action is taken!
That being said, I have taken some concrete steps for getting myself and my training plans in shape for the
ridiculous aggressive racing schedule I have built for myself (and continue to modify, as I have just added another one, have you seen the latest update?) Since my goal races run the gamut from speed to strength to stamina, I will have to develop a custom plan that meets all the criteria. Let’s take a look at the general timelines to upcoming major events – there area handful of shorter races mixed in among these, but I am treating those as fun runs, checkpoints, and “racecations”, not targeted milestones:
- Houston Half-Marathon: October 26 (19 weeks from today) Goal: 1:45:00 finish – Running 8:00 miles for the half-marathon distance is my challenge here; I have done this for 5K and 10K distances, but this is a full minute per mile faster than my current PR. I will need a combination of intervals and tempo runs to build up to this level.
- Dallas Spartan Beast: November 1 (20 weeks from today, 1 week after previous race) Goal: 4:30 finish without major injury; Based on my previous Spartan races, my finish time will be 1.5x the fastest runners (who typically complete this race in about 3 hours), but the biggest limiting factor is my current lack of upper body and core strength – so weight training is the answer here.
- Brazos Bend Trail Races (50 Mile): December 13-14 (26 weeks from today, 6 weeks after previous race) Goal: 10 hour finish – This is based on the 6:35 finish from the 50K back in April on the same course…I realize now that I wasted a lot of time at the aid stations, and could have pushed my overall pace by a comfortable margin – mistakes I do not intend to repeat 😦
- Chevron Houston Marathon: January 18 (31 weeks from today, 5 weeks after previous race) Goal: 4:30 finish, 1 hour faster than last year; I am a much smarter and stronger runner than I was a year ago, and many of the mistakes I made on my previous attempt (running in the wrong shoes, trying to train while sick/injured, shorting myself on the long runs) are easy to avoid…which means I have plenty of room for brand new mistakes 🙂
I am still outside the “window” for most formal training plans, so I will be spending the next couple of weeks combing through a handful of books and websites, looking to strike the proper balance of workouts that will let me accomplish all my goals while avoiding overtraining, injury and general burnout – and continue having a life and a career at the same time! In my next post I will share my progress with that, and give you a look at what I am already doing to prepare for what’s coming. See you soon!