So the last time we left off I had run the local Tely 10 race. Now, I ran this race solely on mileage without any speed work or proper conditioning. This race was the turning point for me as a runner. This was when I started to think, "How do I get faster?"
I started reading articles online, buying running books, and surfing some forums to get some answers. I started incorporating hill, rep, interval, and threshold workouts into my regimen, all of which were previously foreign to me as a runner.
Next race on the agenda was the provincial 5k, which I aimed for sub 20 minutes to beat my previous 5k race time of just over 23 minutes. I crossed the finish line in 19:58, leaving an anxious and nervous wife in suspense about my finish time. This was proof the training was working.
So to keep the train rolling, I upped my mileage, kept working out, and aimed for a sub 40 minute 10k to see if my speed and endurance had benefited from my training. I signed up for the local 10k and finished just under my goal with a time of 39:56.
The last race of my 2013 racing season was a bit of a unique one. It's called the Cape to Cabot. It's a 20km race that starts at Cape Spear and ends on top of Signal Hill. For those of you that aren't from Newfoundland and have no clue what that means, basically it's a gruelling, hilly, endurance run in which your stamina is really put to the test. It's named "The Toughest Race in Eastern North America".To give you a fair idea of what the course is like, I've attached an image of the elevation chart:
I finished this bad boy just over 1hr34mins. I take it as a strong effort and maybe would have done slightly better if I never had a respiratory infection going on (I was barking up a lung throughout the whole race, but I paid top dollar to run this sucka so I wasn't sitting it out!) I recommend anyone that enjoys a good challenge to sign up and give it a go. It's a liberating feeling to finish and earns you much more kudos in the running community than a standard half marathon finish. You can read more on the Cape to Cabot here.
That ended my 2013 racing season and meant it was time to look back on my year of running and how to tackle 2014 as an athlete.
I'm a big fan of Daniels' Running Formula. It's my training bible. I depend on it for my training target paces, racing strategies, and any other running related info. So at the beginning of 2014, I looked up my race results, crunched my numbers, and wrote them in my running journal (something I recommend any runners who compete or train to invest in). Here's my eversohumbling race targets and training plan:
5K - 18:30
10K - 38:59
Tely 10 - sub 65 minute
13.1 - 1:25:00
26.2 - no plans
How I am planning to hit these targets is :
- Building my weekly mileage beyond my current amount - Near the end of 2013 I was running about 250kms a month, but in 2014, I want this to be closer to 350-400kms a week. I have been spending January and February upping my mileage gradually and this spring is when the next big jump in mileage will happen.
- Incorporating Phase Training - This is another of Daniels' recommendations. Phase 1 consists of endurance training/raw mileage. Phase 2 incorporates weekly rep training. Phase 3 incorporates some vo2/interval training. Phase 4 incorporates threshold training.
- Run my Ass off - self explanatory.
The beauty of this way of training is that every phase opens the door for the next level. In phase 1 you are strengthening your heart and legs, preparing them for what's to come. Phase 2 is rep based which helps with raw speed and basically partitions your fitness into physical ability to run faster. Phase 3 is interval, which is a slower pace than rep training but is a more demanding type that taxes your ability to maintain a fast pace for a prolonged time. Lastly there's phase 4 which brings in threshold training, which is yet again slower than interval. This phase is also slower for a reason; Threshold running is very close to your marathon pace and is slower than your 5k pace. The idea with this training is to teach your body to properly flush itself of lactic acid building(a byproduct of a lot of scientific mumbo jumbo that happens when you run). Ever get a burning in your legs when you run? That's lactic acid and phase 4 is all about prolonging that feeling and preventing it during a race.
So that ends my long and maybe a little too technical(?) recap of 2013 and race plans for 2014.
Until next time, You stay classy San Diego,
-The Running Father