As you can probably guess with my lack of posting, I’m in a bit of a post-marathon lull. A recovery mode, off season, from both running and writing about running. Believe it or not, I actually have quite a bit going on besides running in my life (strange, I know) but I won’t get into it because this is a running blog not a every-detail-of-Victoria’s-life blog.
It only took a couple weeks to recover after the OK Marathon, then I went on vacation (only running once), then since then I’ve been casually building up my mileage again. By casual I mean I have a plan I’m following, but I try not to beat myself up for missing runs or adjusting it.
So this “plan” of mine. Let’s discuss it. I’m currently working on my NAASFP Certification to become a running coach, and using my new found knowledge to my advantage. I decided that instead of doing a typical 16 week training cycle for a specific race, I’m looking at my next big race as part of a whole year cycle called a macrocycle. This macrocycle is then broke up into shorter mesocycles focusing on specific elements of fitness. Then each mesocycle is broken up into microcycles, which are a week long and within that week I have a variety of workouts. (You may recall that I did something similar in my last training cycle, but this time it’s a larger cycle and I know more about what I’m doing)
Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that this is my training schedule. I (sort of) know what works for me and I’m ok with this experimenting with my training in this way. By chatting about it I am by no means saying that you should follow this plan. Do what’s right for you. I should also note that if you have some experience with these sorts of plans, feel free to chime in and provide advice. I am all ears.
So looking at my one year cycle from post OK-marathon, that’s mid-October 2013 to mid-October 2014. This year is broken up in to the following mesocycles: Recovery (3 weeks), Aerobic Capacity Training (8 weeks), Strength building (4 weeks), Speed Training (4 weeks), Peak/Taper/Competition (8 weeks)
I know that doesn’t fill up the whole year, but I’m leaving things open after two key races depending on performance.
Following the race, I had a three week recovery period, finishing with a one week vacation that I replaced all running with horse riding, eating, drinking and walking around Toronto with pals.
I am currently in the middle of my eight week aerobic capacity training cycle. I am aiming on getting my mileage back up and not worrying too much about pace but trying to incorporate some tempo runs. We just had a big winter storm with temperatures in the -30’s and it’s Christmas season, so mainly I’m trying to stay consistent and not just eat ALL THE COOKIES.
I am a big advocate of strength training, I’ve amped up the leg and core work in my routines. Since I’m not really running fast I’m taking the opportunity to get the legs strong so I can kick some ass in the upcoming cycles that will require that strength.
In the next cycle (starting around New Years, how timely), I will reduce the amount of leg work I’m doing in the gym and substitute that with more hills, stairs and tempo runs. I’ll keep increasing my mileage but not as drastically.
Mini Competition Cycle
I am running the Austin Half Marathon in February, in conjunction with visiting my cousin (whom I roped into running the 10k). One week each: taper, race, recovery.
Similar to strength, but I’ll substitute the stairs for the track (thank god) and faster tempo runs.
This is where things get fun and it’s time to announce my A-Goal:
May 4, 2014
Vancouver Marathon <3:35:00
I’ve got 15 minutes to shave off my time, and based on past performance, I think I can make that happen.
I digress. So four weeks out from the race I’ll have two peak weeks where I pull everything together. High miles and fast finish long runs. Two weeks out I will taper. Then I will race.
Four weeks later I will try two things that I have never done before: run two marathons a month apart, and run a marathon in my own city.
June 1, 2014
So… we’ll see how that goes. I have no expectations.
The rest of the year will be a work in progress depending on Van Marathon. I would really reeeeaaalllllllyyyy like to qualify for Boston 2015. Morgan is running it. We want to run it together. So if I don’t make it in Van, I will find a race in mid August to try again. If I make it, I will spend my summer doing whatever the hell I feel like. 10k? Halfs? ULTRA?! WHO KNOWS. Hopefully more trail running. The running world will be my oyster. Maybe I’ll spend my summer drinking beer and floating down the river in a raft (providing the river isn’t a jerk this year).
Speaking of half marathons, August I will have the honor of pacing Jamie, Chelsea, Amber and Tiffany (hopefully?) for their first half marathon! We’re running the Lululemon Seawheeze Half in Vancouver so we’ll more than likely have an epic girls BC road trip bookending that race. Can’t wait. 2014 is going to rule.
What are your goals for 2014?