Striding Through

Because a life well lived always finds the right pace

Tag Archives: cross-training

2012 in review and the road ahead in 2013

With yesterday’s little 45 minute spin workout on the trainer I put the wraps on an interesting 2012. I ended up with the lowest total run mileage in quite a while with just over 1300 for the year. But I also cycled over 800 miles and swam 22.5 miles. Some of the decrease in run mileage is attributable to a couple of nagging injuries in the early part of 2012, and some of it is due to introducing more intense bike training during the summer when I was training for the 2XRip Duathlon. Nonetheless when it came time to run the Chicago Marathon in the fall, I was ready; if anything I felt like the varied training brought me to the windy city stronger than I had been in a long time.

Lesson to be learned from it? I think so. Clearly varying my training is something that works for me. Biking in particularly keeps my cardiovascular strength at a high-performing level while easing some of the stress on my joints, especially the knees. Even now as I start on a Hansons program in preparation for Boston, I plan to leave a little room for the bike. I am also considering getting back in the pool, if I can fit it into my busy schedule. Cross-training is an essential part of my training, and besides, I haven’t ruled out another duathlon or maybe even an Olympic triathlon someday.

One of the more disappointing aspects of 2012 was the lack of any new PRs. That is, of course, except for the automatic PR earned at my debut duathlon. I thought Chicago for sure would be that kind of a day and I felt fantastic during the race, but at the finish I found myself two seconds shy of the marathon PR I set in 2010 at Boston. Still the fact that I cruised so easily to that result at Chicago leaves me encouraged that with solid, consistent training I can get that time down at Boston in 2013.

I’m now into the fourth week of the Hansons program and feeling pretty good. The first five miles of 2013 are now in the books so I am clearly off and running towards this year’s goals, which include the following:

  • Successfully complete the Hansons plan this spring and stay healthy
  • Boston and a new marathon PR (aggressive goal is 3:10, PR to beat is 3:20:41)
  • Make sure to allow myself proper recovery time after goal races (not always easy)
  • Sub-90 minute half marathon
  • Sub-19 5k race
  • At least one multisport event
  • Marine Corps Marathon? I’m thinking about it
  • Win my club’s summer racing series for my age group (finished 3rd in 2012)

I may add more goals later as the year progresses. Happy New Year to all and let the chase begin! 🙂

Advertisements

Recovery break over, now for the pivot

After my Chicago Marathon experience last week, I returned to Virginia and took some needed time off from running. In fact, the little holiday is still going on as I will rest once more today. Over the past week I’ve been walking, getting a massage and I did a little bit of cycling in the neighborhood.

But I’m feeling the itch to get it going again. So this week I’ll start it back up, albeit slowly. 3 miles tomorrow, 5 or so on Wednesday, 7 on Friday. No speed work. And I will fall back on the bike again to maintain aerobic endurance. I’m hoping to maybe pop out a long easy ride on the road bike Saturday, 30 miles or so.

Time will tell how quickly I return to the prior training intensity. I have the Philadelphia Half Marathon awaiting as my season closing race. It will be my 4th Philly; so far I’ve done the marathon there twice, including last year, and the half there once in 2009 when I set a then-PR and qualified for NYC. I don’t think it will take much to be ready for that one, not with base marathon fitness under my belt. The biggest challenge will be to get accustomed to running a faster tempo for an extended time. So I anticipate several quality workouts to get sharper, and maybe a long run topping out at 15 miles.

After such a big target marathon race, it feels like starting a new season within the season. But if I can manage the next month properly I should be primed for a big Philly result. PR to beat is 1:29:03 and hopefully this time the standard falls!

Road to NYC, Week 8 and a Speed Bump

As previously reported, last Sunday, I ran the Wilson Bridge Half Marathon, which turned out to be much more than I had bargained for. What was supposed to be a tuneup race turned out to be one of the most punishing runs I’ve ever had, thanks to a course that had us running over rolling hills, mostly on rock-hard concrete. In the aftermath of the race I had to confront something I hadn’t felt since my very first full marathon (Philadelphia, 2006): delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).

So what, you might ask? We all get sore from time to time, after a hard workout or even a short, hard race. What’s the big deal? DOMS is a whole different beast than just the typical post-workout fatigue. It’s basically a thousand micro-tears in a muscle or muscle group, that collectively renders its recipient powerless to do much of anything for a few days afterwards. That’s basically what happened to me after Wilson Bridge.

The effect on my training this week, needless to say, has been profound. Whereas I figured I would bounce back quickly from a half-marathon and get right back on track within a day or two, I’m now rehabbing from what essentially, despite its fancy name, is really just another overuse injury. That means I go through the normal cycle: RICE, then gradually resuming activity and then ramping up when the symptoms clear up.

Suffice to say it’s been a very light week of “training.”

Done so far:

  • Monday – 1.25 mile walk/shuffle at lunch
  • Tuesday – 2.5 mile walk in evening, feeling a little better
  • Wednesday – 50 minutes on the elliptical
  • Thursday – 45 minute run, very slow (4.9 miles), still very sore
  • Friday – 40 minutes of swimming (3/4 mile)

And for this weekend:

  • Saturday – bike ride (distance TBD) plus maybe a short jog
  • Sunday – light run, again very easy

I’ll see how this recovery week goes; hopefully by Monday I’ll be able to start putting some more miles on and get back to normal training by mid-week. Then the next challenge will be rescheduling some of those missed workouts that had been planned for this week, most notably the 22-miler originally scheduled for tomorrow. With 46 days to go, I have time – I think.