Thursday, January 19, 2012

Spring outlook

One month from today, I expect to be basking in the glow of a shiny new marathon PR and fresh off a 7 day period of inactivity to guard against burnout. The first signs of Spring come around the first week of March here in Birmingham and daylight savings time starts on 3/11. Here's the plan for the Spring and Summer:
-Mileage will be cut to the neighborhood of 40 per week.
-More speed sessions.
-Fewer long runs and nothing over 15.
Other training decisions will be played by ear. What will happen to my base training pace on fewer miles? It's possible that it will get even faster. Maybe down to 7:15. On the other hand, the speed workouts could take a lot out of me and my pace could slow. I will do whatever feels comfortable for me. Lately, a basic workout has been in the range of 6.5-8.5 miles. Do I keep it there or drop it back down to the 4-6 range? Again, we'll see how I feel.
I have 5 options for a quality workout:
1. A weekday medium long run (10-12 miles). This is a staple of marathon training and will be phased out entirely. I enjoy this one the least and always have.
2. Weekend long run (12+). On the weekends that I do not race, this will continue to be a regular part of my training. Most will be in the 12-15 range with the fast Gnomes.
3. Tempo run- I like this workout and it will be run at least twice in three weeks. The distance will be varied from 5-8 miles usually from the Shak. Typical paces are just over 6:30 for 5 miles and closer to 7:00 on the 8 miler but paces will slow in hot and humid conditions.
4. Ladders and long intervals- Need more of these for a good 5K. I also anticipate doing these twice every three weeks.
5. Short intervals-Hard, nearly all out sprints from 400 all the way down to 100s with full recoveries. I hope to do one such workout per week. 59.9 or bust!
Reasoning behind the shift:
Since 2009, I have shown a lot of improvement at distances 10K and above. By comparion, my 5K PR has dropped a mere 6 seconds. True, I've been plagued with a lot bad luck at that distance (humid weather, unstable, just didn't have it). My Mile time is down by only 3 seconds while in the 400, I have actually regressed a bit. At 31 years old, time is running out. If I can't break 60 in the 400 within the next 2 years, I don't see it happening. The same is true to a lesser extent in the Mile and 5K.
Race plans:
Rumpshaker 5K in late March- local event. Fast course, competitive field.
Crescent City Classic- New Orleans mega 10K
Kentucky Derby Half- for fun to add another state.
My goal to run a half/full in at least 25 states is not too original. Here are 2 others that some may find interesting:
-5K in 5 states: Already done this (PA,WV,AL,GA,TN)
-10K in 10 states: Only 3 down (SC,AL,GA). Louisiana could be number 4. Three more quick options include a companion 10K on a Pensacola Beach marathon weekend, a Labor Day 10K in the Nashville area and the Gum Tree 10K in Tupelo, MS. That leaves 3 destination races. On the radar are the Pittsburgh Great Race, Bolder Boulder and Broad Street (Richmond, VA).

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