November, December and January have been all about that base. Running base that is. A combination of injuries and burn-out meant I took a break from running for October and the first half of November. And let me tell you that running is a humbling hobby. Paces that previously felt easy now became a struggle. Ughhh. It was the first step (literally) in getting back into shape.
I started by running four times a week in the low 20 miles per week total. My long runs started at 5 and 6 miles, before plateauing at 7 miles for three weeks, followed by another 3 weeks at 8 miles. Since the start of the year I’ve been topping out at 25 miles with a long run of 9 miles.
I have a couple of races lined up for the start of 2016 with my goal race being the Salt Lake half marathon on April 16th. This means that my 12 week training program starts on January 25th so I have one more week to go before things get real. This time I am planning on following Hal Higdon’s advanced plan. Fingers crossed my body holds up. This race is my current PR, and while it would be nice to beat that time I’m more interested in figuring out where m fitness is right now. Before that I have a couple of tune-up races to get rid of the racing nerves.
Monday: 4.85 trail miles at 10:35 pace/570 ft elevation. Blue skies, not too cold and clean air. I couldn’t resist.
Tuesday: 1.5 miles easy on indoor track. I got a pair of Altras back in the fall and am trying to ease myself into wearing them. Strength workout afterwards.
Wednesday: 5.25 mile tempo. 2 miles at 9:13 pace, 1 mile at 7:19, 7.13, 1.25 mile cooldown at 9:13 pace. Was hoping for 3 fast miles (I did this workout the previous week) but my legs were not feeling it.
Thursday: Rest. Short strength workout.
Friday: Rest. Snowy day so decided to wait until the weekend to run.
Saturday: 9.15 miles at 8:40 pace. Best long run in a while.
Sunday: 3.1 mile hike; 4.5 mile recovery run at 9:14 pace. Surprised that this pace felt so easy.
Weekly total: 25.3 miles.
The first week of my plan calls for a little under 30 miles and I feel pretty prepared for it. Confession: My peak mileage for a half marathon has only ever been 35ish miles so this training period should up that a lot. Plus my first long run should be about 10 miles which is longer than what I’ve started with previously. I say about 10 miles because this plan sets long runs by time not distance, which is also new to me. Lots of new things and I’m excited to see if I see any improvements in my racing.
My weekly workouts also include my daily walks with Sophie. We usually go out for a little under an hour in the mornings and try to hike at least once per weekend. This Sunday we hiked up Thaynes Canyon. What a great way to spend a morning.