I am not one to follow traditional training plans. Overall, it just does not work for me. However, going into the New Year, I do have some plans. I also have some overall goals for the year. It certainly looks like a huge plan but in reality it’s nothing crazy yet and I am leaving myself open to that whole “life happens while you are making plans” thing
I have two overall goals for 2014. Consistency will be the name of the game…
The first goal is to run 5 days a week. That is what I did back in 2010 when I trained for my first half and I feel like it worked well for me. Not only did I never get injured that first year, but I also just felt better overall. This is part of the reason I decided to do the Holiday Challenge… I figured after a month of running 6 days a week that 5 should seem easy.
The second one is to strength train more. I know that I have talked about this often and I also know that I keep saying I will do it and then I usually end up failing. Though I have no doubt that if push comes to shove and I need to choose one over the other, I will choose to run. But I really hope that I can have some sort of consistency with strength training. To start off, I am going to try to strength train at least 3 days a week. This should give me the ability to do a leg day, upper body day and core day… not that I will stick with that because I usually add core to the end of a leg/upper body day. But it wouldn’t be a terrible idea to have one day devoted to the core… hmmm…
I will be starting January off with a 5K race on New Year’s Day. It is a LP race that I did last year and I really like the idea of starting off the New Year with a race. I feel like it is showing my commitment to running. And let’s be honest here, the likelihood of me staying awake until midnight is slim to none to begin with so having an excuse to go to sleep on the earlier side isn’t a bad thing :-p
I also have another race, the Polar Dash 10K on the 11th… as a sort of Happy Birthday to Eric (he is running as well).
Outside of the two races that I have, I would like to focus on making my daily run two miles a day. I can do more if I feel like it or even less if it is just one of those days. Again, the main goal will be 5 days a week. But overall, I would like to see the majority of my runs at 2 miles or more. Also hope to continue with the strength training. Assuming that I will be spending more time at the gym running than outside, I think this should be a good month for my two overall goals.
The month will start off with a, yep, you guessed it, race. Courtney decided she wanted to (partially at least) celebrate her birthday with a 10K. So on the 2nd I will join her for the Chitown Big Game 10K race at soldier Field. The rest of the month, I would like to up that daily run to 3 miles a day. Here is where things will start to get tricky for me. I can deal with the indoor track/treadmill but I REALLY don’t like either. I much prefer to be outside. But also knowing that Feb weather is not exactly stellar… I am thinking that more than ever I am going to have to do that whole run to/from the gym thing. I can take the mile long route to and from the gym and then I only have to do a mile on the track/treadmill once I am there. And of course, any time I am at the gym, I am going to strength train. So in theory, it should be a successful month for the goals.
In March, I hope to start adding back one longer run a week. At this point in time, not really sure what I will start with but probably somewhere around 5 miles since I will be doing the Shamrock Shuffle 8K at the end of the month. I suspect that I will dial back on the strength training a bit in an effort to increase the mileage… Assuming the weather cooperates with this. Although, there is a good chance that I will still be spending quite a bit of time at the gym. Ideally, I would like to start doing more 4 mile runs as well. But we will see how things go in February first… Also need to see if the weather cooperates.
So far, I have two April races on the schedule. And assuming I am able to get into the BAA 5K (in case you didn’t hear, I am going to plan on running this race); I intend to run that race for time. I will officially start my training for Soldier Field 10 as well so the longer run will become a regular thing. Also have a trip to Boston planned so hopefully I can get in at least one run outside of the race as a way to explore the city a little bit. Knowing that April weather tends to be awful, I am thinking I will try running 4 or 5 miles outside on the nice days and then do the shorter runs inside at the gym. Hopefully this will work to balance out the desire to run and strength train. In theory, I will do some speed work as well… In theory, of course. Baseball also starts this month which means that some of my time will be re-directed to going to baseball games.
SF10 training will continue and as of right now, it is the only race on the schedule. Not sure if I will look for another race or not for May. I like the idea of focusing on training for SF10 and hopefully continuing with a strong base. My hope is that by this point in the year 4 or 5 miles will be more the norm. I figure that I am going to start to struggle with strength training here… mostly because the weather will likely be better and I will want to be outside more. But by this point, Strength training should be fairly normal for me, so hopefully I will still get to the gym a couple of times a week and do some strength training at home as well.
I will of course participate in the United Run for the Zoo 10K again. Still my favorite 10K and I just refuse to not run it. There is a good chance it will be my only June race. I am considering Ragnar but I also know that I have a very expensive vacation planned for January 2015 that I need to save up for. I also really need to get my savings built back up. Again, I am hoping that 4 or 5 miles will be a normal run for me. Knowing that weather wise, things should be a lot better, I think I might switch the strength training to at home. But if the weather is nicer, I can also do a longer run outside and just end the run at the gym. I will need to play with this a bit as time allows. I really hope I can find a good balance that works for me.
Since mom always comes for a visit for the month of July, I am going to keep things pretty basic. I also REALLY hate running in the heat of summer… and we have had some hot ones the past couple of years. I will probably stop strength training for the month and just focus on running 5 times a week… I will also probably scale back the run to 3ish miles a day and just leave it at that. Perhaps throw in one longer run a week… but weather is probably going to dictate that a little bit. I plan to keep the Bastille Day 8K and Strike out ALS races on the schedule as well.
I currently do not have any races planned for August. There is a very good chance it will stay that way. Since I don’t really do well running in the heat then I see little point in trying to race in the heat. However, I do hope to slowly ramp the mileage up and get back to the strength training as well.
At this point, I should start training for the Navy Pier perfect 10 race. Main reason I am keeping that race on the schedule is to help with training for the half that I intend to run in January when Eric and I head to Disney. My hope is that my strong base will carry me through to this point in the year. I will probably take part in the Mad Dash to Madison 5K and the Oktoberfest 5K but don’t think there will be any other races added to the schedule for September.
So far the only race I plan to do is the Pumpkins in the Park 5K. I will continue to focus on the training for Navy Pier. I also intend to head outside and cheer on all my friends running the Marathon.
Will run the Navy Pier race and then once that is over, I will start training for the Disney races. Since that will be three races in 3 days, I am hoping to train that way. In Disney I intend to run the 5K, 10K and the Half (and Eric will add the Marathon… for the Dopey Challenge). Since this will definitely be a first for me, I know I will need to prepare myself for it. So the hope is to mimic this in training… where I end on the long run. Also, assuming I am in town, it would be nice to run the LP Turkey Day 5K.
Will continue the training for the Disney races… I know I am going to have to do a significant number of long runs and I just hope the weather will cooperate. Currently, Eric and I are working on the assumption that Marathon Weekend in Disney will be around his birthday… so the second weekend in January. As such, I plan to max out training Christmas week (which will be an interesting challenge in and of itself) and then do a week of taper.
I know that this does seem like a full blown “plan” but it doesn’t actually feel like one to me. I have wanted to focus on a solid base for a while and I am hoping that I will be do that with this. The main focus will still (and ultimately) be running 5 days a week. So I won’t beat myself up if a run happens to be shorter than intended. I also feel like it is more manageable this way…
I have no idea if I will stick to this or not but for now, I feel like it will help get to where I want to be with my running.