Training is back in full motion for this girl and a pretty packed race season (what can I say, I’ve been bitten by the running bug!) I’ve had time to reflect on my round of training for my first half and noted somethings I could have done to become a stronger, better runner.
Core training. When I first heard about targeting your core to make it stronger, I misinterpreted it as your abs only. For me, abs is the one area I dreaded working out, until I read an article that your core is so much more than your abs. Core targets your front, back, even side muscles to firm up your whole body. So I decided to tackle a challenge back in June called the 30-day ab challenge, and it consisted of four different exercises: sit-ups, crunches, leg raises and a plank. The rep count for each increased as the month moved along. Ill be honest and admit that my 30-day ab challenged stretched to a 37-day ab challenge but I completed it. For the month of July, I completed the 30-day plank challenge. I’ve noticed since I’ve gotten better about incorporating core workouts that I feel stronger during my runs and my posture is more well composed to push through the end.
Cross training. For my first half I followed a training plan for the running portion and then on my off days I went into the gym and strength ed trained. While yes, you need the strength training, you also need the cross training like cycling, swimming, yoga, etc. to switch it up and work your muscles in other ways while keeping your cardio up. Recently I’ve been partaking in a TrampoLEAN Fitness class at my local Airheads gym as well as using the bike machine at my regular gym.
Speed Workouts. Speed workouts are the one thing I did not incorporate in my last training. I was so focused on gaining the distance and not the endurance. Looking back I now know moving forward even if it’s shredding seconds off my previous time, speed workouts are a must!
I am currently training for my second half, the Women’s Running Series St. Petersburg Half Marathon. I am following a 16-week training plan by Runfit365.com. I heard about Runfit365 from a promo piece in my Stridebox subscription and received 75% off my purchase of the plan. I know some of you may be saying that there are free plans out there, especially in running magazines or on Pinterest, but some of the benefits this plan has that the other don’t include training paces, nutritional guidelines, strength training guidelines and how to make adjustments with the training schedule.
What’s different about this training plan from others, is the duration of the activity. Most plans follow a mileage guideline (i.e. 3 miles on Tuesday, 3 miles on Thursday, 5 miles on Sunday), this plan follows a timing schedule. Tuesdays, Wednesday, Thursdays and Saturdays, my plan requires 30 minutes of running. As I progress further into the plan I will swap my 30 minute run for a “race pace” run, hill intervals or speed workouts. Sunday’s will be my long run days, again by time not mileage. The concept of training with the time is to help me pace myself correctly so I can maintain my endurance and avoid the temptation to go to fast. The plan also has five recovery weeks.
To learn more about a Runfit365 plan, watch the demo below provided by Runfit365.
2014-2015 Race Schedule:
Women’s Running Series St. Petersburg will take place on Sunday, November 23rd and this year I will be competing in the half marathon. It’s a great feeling to see my progress in the last year. This race in particular was the first race to kick off the 2013-2014 season for me and it was also the race that started it all on my journey to 13.1 status. I would like to PR on this race. I haven’t quite decided on a time yet, it’s quite early in my training for that but I would definitely like to break my current time of 2:37.
Best Damn Race Cape Coral will take place on December 14th. Yes these races are taking place roughly three weeks apart which is why I am going not going to try and PR on this race. The last thing I need is an injury, but how could I pass up a $35 registration fee? Also, it’ll be my friends Sam’s first half so depending oh how fast her paces is against mine I plan to stick with her. This will be my first “out-of-town” race.
As of right now I do not have anything scheduled for January. I figured this month is where I need to take it easy after running to back to back half’s. It’s tempting to want to run something but at the same time I need to avoid injury where I can. This time last year I participated in the St. Pete Beach Classic 10k and I’ve thought about making this my January race. I had a great time at this event and it just happened to be my first 10k, so I would love to make it out for another year.
February is the big month for me as it will be a stepping stone from running my first half to running my first challenge! I’ll be participating in the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend and I will be taking on the Glass Slipper Challenge! The Glass Slipper Challenge is spread out over two days and totals 19.3 miles. Saturday will be the Enchanted 10k through EPCOT with a half marathon on Sunday. I’ve heard through the grapevine that every runner should experience at least one Disney race, and I figured go big or go home! Lol.
March is a fairly quite month and again this is more of a rest month after the big challenge! Again, while it’s tempting to want to do a race every month, I think my body and my wallet will thank me later. I may consider doing a “fun” St. Patty’s Day 5k.
April. April is soooo tempting because it will the month for Iron Girl Clearwater! While the date is still TBD, the inner urge to want to run the exact same race that brought me across the finish line to my goal is rather alluring.