Sunday, February 2, 2014

January Training Recap

Whoa, it's crazy to think that today wraps up my 12th week of training since officially starting back in November, putting me just past the halfway mark of my 23 week plan.

In some ways, I'm encouraged by it -- I'm already showing signs of improvement and I still have 11 weeks to go!

But in other ways, the 12 weeks that have already passed went by really fast, and while I'm doing pretty good sticking to my training plan, I have missed some runs here and there for various reasons.

The good news is that the holidays and Baby G's birthday are behind us, so life should calm down and I can devote a little more time and energy to running.

While January was a better month of training than November or December, it wasn't that much better.

November: 54.11 miles in 9:56:02 for 6,443 calories
December: 51.96 miles in 9:21:02 for 6,690 calories
January: 61.03 miles in 10:20:03 for 7,888 calories

A few important things to note:

  1. I finally broke into double-digit mileage two weeks ago! I had to do it on the treadmill at the gym because of the weather, and I think that factored into why it was a little tougher than I wanted it to be. Then again, I haven't broken 10 miles since the miniMarathon and Papa John's 10 miler last April. And before that it was my marathon way back in September of 2012! (Yep, I didn't break 10 miles ONCE while training for the mini last year!) I REALLY need to make sure I log some serious miles over the next few months!
  2. So far, I'm really liking the new No Meat Athlete Marathon Roadmap plan. It took a few weeks to figure out what my ideal pace should be for each type of run, but now that I've got a handle on things the runs are challenging but actually quite fun. And I feel like I'm running less than I used to with other plans, but I can tell I'm getting faster (more on that later).
  3. The weather has been terrible. It's been very cold around here, and I can't remember when we last saw this much snow and ice. On top of it, school has either been cancelled or delayed, which completely eliminates the block of time in the morning Jennifer and I have set aside for training. I'm really hoping the weather (and the school system) will cooperate more this month!
With my first race of the season just three weeks away, I've already started thinking about trying to PR it. This past week I logged a couple of training runs that have me believing I really have a shot at it.

First up was my interval workout on Thursday. Including my warm-up, I managed to hit 3 miles in 25 minutes, which is REALLY close to my 5K PR of 24:14. The last couple of intervals were really tough (I did them at a 9.3mph pace, or roughly 6:30/mile, which is wayyy faster than I ever thought I could run!), but if I had replaced my warm-up with a couple more intervals I would have run a 5K in 23:56!

And again on Friday -- for my tempo run I ran 3 miles in 25:28, and that's with pushing the baby in the stroller! (My average pace was pretty typical for me, at around 8:30/mile. It's nice to see that I'm able to maintain that pace now while pushing the stroller, whereas in the past that was just my normal pace.)

Going into this training I wasn't so much concerned with trying to PR every race, and I'm still not. My biggest goal is still to improve my marathon time (drastically, I hope). But I have a feeling if I keep up with my training plan over the next few weeks, I'll easily be able to better my 5K time.

Once again, it just goes to show that sticking to your training plan WILL pay off. And since I saw first-hand how good cross-training is two years ago, I'm making a concerted effort to add more strength training in during the week.

Today I have a 12 mile long run, and it looks like the weather is going to cooperate so I'm going to run it at the park. Hopefully you've been able to get outside and enjoy this little heat wave we've had, too!

Thanks for reading!


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