Over the last year because of injury my running stopped being fun and started to become a chore – not very motivating! Because of this I went down from training about 5 days a week to about 5 days a month (unfortunately I didn’t change my eating habits!)
I decided to step back and rethink my outcome – what did I want to get from running…..
I wanted to be outside and enjoying the different seasons, I wanted to get fit, I want to fulfil my potential as a runner (not that of an Olympic athlete, but to my full potential!) I started to imagine what that would be like and how I would know I’ve got there – so for me to achieve my outcome this year would be to run the Bedford half Marathon in December in a personal best for that course. I can see myself, running smoothly, relaxed and enjoying the feeling of achieving a good time for me and hearing the cheers of my running friends as I cross the line!
A plan for the year was required – spurned on by three runs without any pain I decided I was ready to put a plan of action together and split the year into three areas – building stamina, building speed, racing the distance.
Building stamina – March to June
This means that for the next few months I am concentrating on building up the number of runs and training sessions I do with my running club (Ampthill & Flitwick Flyers) and slowly build up my long run at the weekend. During this time I am concentrating on building up stamina and running for longer. I have put in for two races – the St Albans 10K in May and the Marston 5K in June which are going to give me some benchmarks for the summer training. At the club we also have a 5K time trail in April and so this will let me know where I am in reality, rather than where I think I am or where I would like to be! During this time I need to be aware of not doing too much too quickly and re-injuring myself.
Building speed – July to September
Now this is when I want to concentrate on building up my speed, coming from a base of stamina and because of the slow build up still being injury free! I am hoping for a lovely hot summer, which means I will need to get out early in the day as heat is not my best friend when running. During this time I will pick out some 10K and 5K races so I can see how I am doing – this is not just about times getting quicker, it is also about how I feel after, heart rate recovery and how quickly my body recovers ready for the next run.
Getting ready for the Half Marathon – October to December
Bringing all this training together for the longer Autumn runs – specifically the Swineshead 10 Mile in September – to give me a benchmark over a longer distance and I then know what I need to do to get my goal for my December half marathon.
So here I start – I now know my outcome for the year and the milestones I want to achieve along the way and some of the hazards that could trip me up!