I don’t know about you, but if you’re a Hamilton fan, you just TOTALLY sang that title and now have King George stuck in your head. If you’re not a Hamilton fan, well, you should be. Just sayin’. I’m obsessed. And I listened to the soundtrack on EVERY long run that led me to PR last weekend. Just sayin’…
But, really. As runners, we become OBSESSED with our next goal. We work hard, train hard, and race hard, and once the race is over, we set our sights on the next goal or the next race. Sometimes, we are already thinking about that next race during our current training plan or even on race days, as we are close to crossing the finish line. We feel like we NEED that goal in order to stay motivated to actually wake up at 4AM to get out the door and get our run in. OK, so maybe I’m the only crazy one, but I know most runners need SOMETHING to motivate them to work hard, train hard, and eventually race hard.
This past year, I ran 3 half marathons in 1 year. Do you know how many total half marathons I’ve run? 12. I typically run 1 a year, so 3 in one year is unheard of for me. But, I needed all 3 of those to actually achieve my goal of a sub-1:35 half marathon. And my other goal was to get over my fear of long runs. I HATE THEM. But, I don’t dread them nearly as much as I used to. I actually started to enjoy them toward the end of my training and they seemed to go by much faster (maybe because I was getting faster). It probably didn’t hurt that I developed a new system that worked well for my running – running a few shorter loops instead of doing an out-and-back run.
Training for 3 half marathons in one year definitely helped me work on my endurance, which is the one thing I struggled with when it came to my 5K times. I know I have the speed, but being able to keep that speed for an extended period of time was the thing that was definitely difficult for me. Thinking back to the beginning of this year, it’s amazing just how far I’ve come in my running. Really, even just the past 3 months has made a huge difference. I’m faster, stronger, and have more endurance than ever before. So, while I don’t think there will EVER be a time when I train for 3 long distance races in a year, it was definitely exactly what I needed to get my running to the next level.
So, what’s next? First, I’m taking some much needed time off. My body needs a little bit of a break for training, especially for those long distance runs. But, I’ll talk more about time off on Wednesday.
I’m actually taking a little less time off than I had planned. Last year, I took from the end of October until mid-January off. But, I absolutely NEEDED to take that much time off. I had been dealing with multiple injuries and my body was just not responding well to training post-pregnancy. That was definitely one of the best running decisions I’ve ever made. This year, I’m really just letting myself do a little recovering from my last race before I start training again. The difference this year is that I have NO long distance races planned. Instead, I am going to be focusing on the 5K for awhile and really trying to increase my speed. I really want to start becoming more competitive in shorter distance races. Yes, I tend to win a lot of local races, but these are small races, so I am usually one of the faster people. I would love to be able to enter some larger 5Ks and 10Ks and actually be competitive in them. I would love to start racing in a more Elite level, so I need to take the time to focus on getting FASTER.
And since I won’t be doing as much long distance training, I don’t feel like I need to take as much time off. Plus, I’ve been running less mileage overall anyway, which is working well for me as it is allowing me to recover SO much better than I used to. I’m not feeling my age quite as much as I used to! Ha!
I already have SEVERAL 5Ks on my racing schedule to round out 2016, plus I’m already looking ahead to my racing calendar in 2017 and hoping to really get a lot of competitive 5Ks and/or 10Ks scheduled in. I’m excited to see what this training cycle can bring! Here’s hoping to another sub-20:00 5K!
Want to know the secret to my training success?! The ladies in my HIIT for Runners bootcamp are learning all my secrets to increasing their paces and setting PRs in their upcoming races. From key running workouts to HIIT workouts to even my nutrition secrets, these bootcampers are about to be the best runner they can be! In fact, one of my former clients just took 3-MINUTES off her 5K PR!
TODAY is the LAST day to register for this 3-week bootcamp! Let me help you become the best runner you can be!
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