Friday, December 16, 2011

2012 Goals and Strategy Planning

I'm feeling like I'm slowly getting over this head-cold. I've been able to put in some good runs, including a tempo run yesterday. It went ok, I still am recovering from CIM, but feel like I'm recovering a lot faster than I have from marathons in the past. Cool.

btw - Getting tempo runs 'right' have always been a struggle for me. Ideally, you warm up, then start *slowly* speeding up to just under or just over LT (Lactate Threshold - about 10K pace). Stay there for a while, and then slowly ramp back down again - with a little extra bump / kick before you totally hit your cool down. I never feel like my transitions are smooth and care-free. I have to think too much and often hit paces too fast, too early. That's one resolution for this winter - get the 'tempo' run just right so they come naturally.

It will take a couple more weeks before I'm out of 'recovery' mode, but now is a great time to start thinking about 2012 races and goals. I spent some time this weekend reflecting on the past year (what worked, what didn't) and also what I want to try and accomplish next year. Then I backed that up into what my winter and spring training need to look like.

I thought I would share those with you guys because the structure might help as you think about what you each want to do next year. I'm a firm believer that if you don't have a plan, then your chance of improving or feeling good about the past year is left to chance. Even if all you want to do is 'run some more' - I think putting structure around that really helps getting you from 'as-is' to 'to-be'. I think this applies to any 'resolution' you might have for 2012. Most resolutions fall into the dust bin because good intentions aren't coupled with a realistic plan. So here goes:

Status on Goal for 2011:
  • Run a sub-3 marathon: Missed this one (3:10:51) - but I really felt like I'm getting a better handle on racing the whole distance. In previous years, the wheels would start to fall off at about mile 18 - this year that didn't happen until mile 23.
  • Run a sub-1:30 half: Did it twice! One of those was Denver, which is not a trivial course (hills and altitude).
  • Race a lot with different distances to become a better rounded runner: I raced 9 races this year, compared to previous years when I'd only race 2 or 3 races. The experience racing really helped a ton - especially learning about racing various distances.
Goals for 2012 (with some stretch goals in parenthesis):
  • Sub-3 Marathon (Chicago) (2:59:59 / 6:53) – current (3:10:51 / 7:17)
  • Sub-1:27 Half-Marathon (1:25:20 / 6:31) – current (1:29:26 / 6:50)
  • Sub-40min 10K (38:21 / 6:10) – current (41:52 / 6:44)
  • Sub 19min 5K (18:28 / 5:57) – current (NA) 

I realize some of these are a pretty good stretch. I really feel I figured a lot out about my training this year and think I'll be able to come pretty close to these and have a great season next year if I can stick through some solid training changes this winter and into the spring (see below). 


Strategy and Approach:
  • RACE OFTEN! (vary intensity / goal of each race as needed to maintain) – goal is to toe up often and practice different parts of the race. Throw in more ad-hoc  5Ks to stay sharp.
  • Bump overall mileage by 15% (peak at 70-ish mi instead of 58mi-60mi). Work over the winter to boost average weekly mileage.
  • Keep steady long run @16mi (Sundays) – w/additional long run during week during winter / spring
  • Run some ‘training marathons’ to really hone in on that last 10K. Run them slower 60s lower than MP with race pace in the last 10K. Treat them as ‘long runs’.
  • Consistent strength training (upper / lower / core) during the winter (2x / week)
  • Winter weekly quality workouts (Long Run, 2nd Long Run, Tempo/Hills/Track, Tempo/Fartlek) with 2/1 cycle (2 strong weeks / 1 recovery week)
  • Track in winter is mostly 400s / 800s (Yassos) – play around with some different workouts
  • Swimming – 1X / week  (maybe a tri in Summer?) 
  • Cycling as recovery but also as a way to push LT performance (hill climbs / time trial)
  • Maintain weight (168lbs) over most of winter. Gradually try to get down to 160lbs racing weight (better calorie timing) by mid-Spring and maintain.
2012 Races (subject to change :-)


Date        Race                     Notes
1/8/2012    10K/5K Trophy Series       
2/12/2012   7mi/5K Trophy Series
3/4/2012    3mi Trophy Series
4/7/2012    4mi Trophy Series
4/15/2012   Platte River ½ Marathon  Or RMRR Train Mara?
5/6/2012    5mi/5K Trophy Series
5/28/2012   10K Bolder Boulder       KEY RACE - Sub-40?
6/?/2012    Training Marathon        Last 10K @ MP?
7/?/2012    10K Loveland Classic     Another Sub-40?   
8/12/2012   Training Marathon        Last 10K @ MP?
9/5/2012    Boulder ½ Marathon       Or P2P 10mi?      
10/7/2012   Chicago Marathon         KEY RACE - Sub-3?


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