2012 Renewal — Choosing running goals and designing a smart running plan, Part 1

Mark Russell is one of the owners of Metro Run and Walk and is an avid walker and runner.

Mark Russell is one of the owners of Metro Run and Walk and is an avid walker and runner.

Tale of the Tape Through Week Two

Weight: January 1 = 189, January 15 = 186.5.   2 weeks, loss of 2.5 lbs.  Ahead of 1 lb per week pace.

Mileage: Week 2 run/walk miles: 38.6.  Average weekly mileage: 36.8.  Above target min of 35 mi/wk.

2012 Running Goals, Events, and Implications for Training

To get back in good distance shape, I need to both burn off calories (and therefore pounds) and put positive stress on my distance running fitness level so my body will adapt.  That means more miles, but they must be smart miles.

So what makes a training plan ‘smart’?

Start with smart end goals that are realistic given starting fitness levels and time to train.

When getting serious about a training schedule, I find it helpful to choose target events that are appropriately challenging and that help me become the runner I want to be.  They add motivation, a sense of progress and accomplishment, and they help to structure the plan.  And multiple events can even dictate a varying training flow for the entire year as the plan is woven around these events.  It is important to note that I ended 2011 with my weekly miles around 15-20 (at least half walking), and my long run in the prior month was 10 miles.  I have been in near- marathon shape most of the past 20 years,  but not since spring of 2009.  To make 2012 the renewal year I want, I am these choosing 4 event goals for 2012.  They will help dictate my training approach for the year.

Goal Events and Training Phases

Event #1:  Late April Marathon, pace unimportant.  Since I want to be in Cleveland, Ohio for a conference Sat April 21,  I have chosen the Glass City Marathon in Toledo the next morning.  I love traveling to new places for distance races!

Resulting training phase #1:  This will allow a 16-17 week training plan, perfect for a marathon.  Plan details coming in next week’s entry.

Event #2:  July 4th 5K, good time desirable.  We have a neighborhood Independence Day celebration, including a morning 5K.  And in my neighborhood I have about 6 or so of my very best running buds.  Inevitably it has a bit of smackdown competition, so it is always nice to be in decent speed shape.  But, I will not sacrifice overall running by overtraining and getting injured.

Resulting training phase #2:  Recover from my marathon with fewer miles very easy until mid-May.  That still leaves me 5-6 weeks to tune for better (not best) speed.  And of course, I will have my weight to the target 163, so I will feel very light and fast.

Event #3:  My running buds and I got into the Hood-to-Coast (H2C) relay, so we are Portland Oregon bound in late August! That event has each team member running 3 legs of between 4-8 miles in varying terrain in the 30 hours it will take to traverse the 200 or so miles between Mt Hood and the Pacific coast.  And with this event being the largest and most competitive relay in the world, I will want to have speed and durability so that I can feel like I did well.  Again, no overtraining.

Resulting training phase #3:  2 months of retaining speed and extending that into somewhat longer distances while building durability.

Event #4:  A fall ultramarathon.  Ideally I would be able to achieve a new personal best for the amount of distance in 24 hours.  More on that later this year.

Resulting training phase #4.  Return to relaxed pacing, but with more miles and extended long runs.

Sounds like a great year!  In part 2 of this entry coming next week, I will touch on the importance of ‘quality’ runs and rest as I lay out my training schedule for my April marathon.

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3 Responses to 2012 Renewal — Choosing running goals and designing a smart running plan, Part 1

  1. AGovert says:

    You are doing Hood-to-Coast!!!!!!! That’s beyond awesome. Please tell me you’ve seen the movie/documentary that came out a year or so ago, good stuff. Wow! Train smart…. for everything. Don’t you dare get injured or I may have to take your place.

  2. Pingback: Déjà vu…all over again! | RunJunky

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