If anyone reads this blog (does anyone read this blog?) I would like s/he to take away one point with respect to training/racing; have a plan. I grew up in a running family and many of the folks in my parent's running club ran race after race after race. It was part of their training rather than a result of their training...if that makes sense? It's a terrible way to train. I guess I'm stating the obvious but I love to have a clear racing strategy well in advance.
I've already started thinking about the spring. To the right I've listed off many of the races I have a desire of racing...though I will likely drop many of them as the season approaches. I still like to have them on my radar and know when they're set to take place on the calendar. I've decided to forgo any marathons for the not-too-distant future. I am getting long in tooth and need to focus on what speed I might have left before it leaves me forever. I was pleasantly surprised this past summer when I ran a 4:25 mile after just one workout. Then, last month, I bested my previous 5k time by 7 seconds. This convinces me more than ever to "strike while the iron is hot". Well, the iron will be luke warm by the time I attempt the 5k again (late winter/early spring) but the confidence will be there.
So the big picture plan is as follows:
1. Army Ten Miler and finish the season on a high note
2. Rest and get healthy. Build back up and base train into the winter OR...
3. Regroup and take aim at a late autumn racing season...go for an 8k PR at Richmond
4. Base train and speed work
5. Jump in an indoor mile/3k for a workout. Race USATF XC Natls - how can I not!?
6. Late winter/early spring - take aim at breaking 15:00 for 5k at a few different venues
7. Use 5k speed and hit Cherry Blossom 10 Miler, Pikes Peak 10k and then peak for the Broadstreet 10 Miler.
My best distances on paper appear to be 10k-10miles so I do want to concentrate on those distances while I am in top form (April/May). Again, this plan appears to be "race heavy" as many of my racing/training schedules are. It still helps me to have a skeleton of a schedule.
In late summer I sat down with one of DC's running heroes in a dimly lit alley (or a Starbucks) and he helped me draft a training plan which was both simple and brilliant. I've yet to execute it as I've been struggling with injuries but plan to start with a clean slate once I've had a chance to rest and recover. To the future (raising pint glass)!