My initial 2014 race goal was to complete a half marathon. In the course to completing that goal I learned some tips to better assist me in my training moving forward.
Speed Workouts. Speed workouts, or fartleks, are the one thing I did not incorporate in my last training. I was so focused on gaining the distance and not the endurance. With this set of training I have incorporated one speed workout per week for the last 10 weeks and a “race pace” work out for the last 5 weeks.
My speed workouts have consisted of a 3-2-1, 2-2-1 and 30-20-10.
3-2-1 is when you run three minutes of easy intensity running followed by two minutes of moderate and then one minute of hard intensity for x-cycles. My training plan called for 5 cycles.
2-2-1 is the same as the 3-2-1, the only difference is instead of three minutes of easy intensity you only run for two.
30-20-10 is where you run easy intensity for 30 seconds, moderate intensity for 20 seconds and hard intensity for 10 seconds five times followed by a two minute recovery jog for 4 cycles. I feel this speed workout has had the biggest impact on my training from gaining a new 5k PR to maintaining a 10:30/mile pace for 4 miles.
Core strengthening. Just as with the speed workouts, I did very little core strengthening in my previous training. I always dreaded core workouts because I thought it was just ab work, i.e. crunches and situps, but core strengthening is so much more than that. To help me get over my lack of love for ab workouts I decided to tackle a challenge this past summer called the 30-day ab challenge, and it consisted of four different exercises: sit-ups, crunches, leg raises and a plank. The first weeks was great as the reps in each exercise only maxed out to 25 but as the days progresses on so did the never ending rep count but I pulled through and completed the challenge. As I progressed through the challenge, I noticed I felt stronger during my runs and my posture is more well composed to push through the end. The following month I decided to continue my quest for a stronger core and completed the 30-day plank challenge. Once I finished that challenged I continued to strengthen my core where and when I could. Ill admit I’ve slacked off a bit, but so has my whole strength training in general these last two months. However, I am getting back on track and making the most of the 4 weeks I have left till BDR Cape Coral.
When I was training for my first half I was so determined to master as much of the mileage as I could that every week my total mileage would stay the same or increase. It definitely took a toll on my body to the point that I had to take a few days off here and there in the weeks leading up to my first half. I’ve learned that every few weeks while you gain mileage you need to scale it back to aid in recovery. This was already incorporated into my training plan that I am currently using and it has made a tremendous difference in my continued performance.
If you could go back in time to perform one race goal for 2014, what would one lesson learned you would have incorporated?
Next week’s theme (11/26 – Wednesday due to the Holiday): Embarrassing Problems.
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