Very rarely do I sit down and take notes while listening to a podcast, but Jeff & Diane’s PRSFit podcast made me stop folding the laundry and sit down and really listen. The topics were about running schedules and goals, both of which made me start thinking about how I approach training. And so I sat with my trusty cupcake journal, and took notes. See I never really thought about having a training approach or philosophy, which struck me as odd since I do have one for violin practicing. I have very concrete goals with my music, but my running goals are kept hidden just for me. Maybe it was time for me to think about some of this. I’ve always approached things one race at a time, but maybe I need to look at the bigger picture. Which races are important to my goals? What do I want to accomplish? What is my approach to running? Some of the things that jumped out at me:
- achieve goals with habits
- easy to talk about big goals, but doing it takes commitment
- small changes can make gradual progress add up over time
- plan your free time and how to incorporate training into it
Over the past 8 months I’ve made a dramatic change to my running routine. Instead of running 4 days a week I switched to 3 days of running with 3 days of strength training and cross training mixed in. I knew that I needed to get more mileage in to start getting to my goals with running, but I kept running into walls whenever I tried to increase. My body didn’t like it. I was tired, and thinking about taking a break. Then a friend suggested trying this plan, and things made a dramatic change. My first race under my new training plan was a PR despite overheating (racing in July in Atlanta will do that…). My endurance and cardio fitness went crazy. I felt stronger and recovered faster. And best of all, with a little work on my foot strike, I wasn’t getting injured despite putting in 30-40 miles of combined running & cross-training a week. And then I started playing with heart rate training after the Chicago Marathon. I felt great! I had more energy, and I was getting faster. I’m still tweaking things a little bit, mostly adding some fun into my training plan. I’m excited about my next marathon, which is a return to the event it all started with, the Georgia Marathon.
The other thing I took away sitting on the floor listening is that I needed goals. Good goals that I could reach, and one to dream towards. So for 2011 here’s the list of goals:
- 3 possible marathons: Georgia Marathon (march), Alaska’s Mayor’s Marathon (june), and the Savannah Rock-n-Roll Marathon (november). I haven’t included shorter races because I’m still working on that, but it will definitely include the Big Peach 5k (one of my favorites), the Peachtree Road Race (10k), and a few others
- #1 goal for the year to run a strong, smart marathon. You would think that with 5 marathons under my belt that I would have already achieved this goal, but I don’t think that I have. Something has always happened and gotten in the way. I think I’m training better, and smarter, and I think that this is a goal I can reach with the Georgia Marathon in March
- #2 run a marathon time between 4:00-4:15. This is something that my training says I can do, but I haven’t gotten it done in a race. I think the terrain of either Alaska, or Savannah would be great for this
- dream goal: qualify for Boston. I fully expect the BAA to tighten qualifying standards for women in 2011, which stinks since 3:40 seems so far away to me already. All I can do it train smart and see what happens. Who knows? A girl can dream
In violin playing I focus a lot on putting the least amount of stress I can on my body. In a sense its natural playing. My philosophy is clear & I use it with all of my students. Get the best possible sound with the least amount of work. Efficient is my violin mantra. My running has been heading that way too. I really want to read Natural Running to keep moving in that direction. It really has done great things for me so far!
When I do the best I can with what I have, then I have won my race -Jay Foonberg, 72-year-old runner