Monday, May 7, 2012

Here Comes the Bluenose 2012

Okay so the Bluenose Marathon weekend is very quickly approaching. I have taken part in this event for three years now and this will be my fourth.

Now I have never done the full marathon but I have twice done the 10K run and last year went for the half marathon. This year I am opting once again for the half marathon. There are two reason I want to compete at this distance again. First, I do not have the time to appropriately train for the full marathon and do it and myself justice. Second,  I have unfinished business.

Last year I had really hoped to run the half in under 1 hour 40 minutes. That is until I recalculated my needed pace and found I had done some very poor math and also I ended up having a few pains and aches that were hampering my training in the final month. Still I followed the 1:45 pace bunny for much the race and still managed a respectable 1:41, for which I was really happy. This year I will beat that time and if all goes well get in under 1:36.

How will I achieve this feat? Well starting back in the Autumn of last year I new that this half marathon was going to happen. So I started to formulate plans to help me get my speed and endurance up. Sure there are many plans floating around the internet and many people willing to help on online forums. But each time I have tried this method I have gotten less than satisfactory results. I knew that most of all I had to be fluid and ready to adapt to a new plan if need be.

In an ideal world I would have given up cycling and swimming and concentrated on running. That would be the easiest way to get fitter as a runner. But that wasn't going to happen, as my main goals this year are still multisport events. Still I decided to really go for running and last November I embarked on an ambitious plan to run everyday.

I saw plans on how to do this and sort of followed them. I began by running each day and only a short distance, except for 2 days a week were I would be adding some distance. But my how those kilometers add up. I went from a standard week of about 25 km (off season levels) to immediately 40+ km a week. Oops. After 2 weeks my shins were killing me and I took a few days off.

Then I decided to cut that back and focus on refining my gait. This meant a huge decrease in mileage but ultimately it has been a great helper in keeping my injuries down, as well as keeping my shoes from wearing out so quickly.

Then came my trip to South Africa in the middle of training season. This kind of meant, no training plan, but at least I did run frequently while there.

Finally come April I was ready to begin again with a new plan. I needed the distance under me as it had been awhile since I ran more than 10K, but I also needed speed. And I needed to keep biking and swimming and have recovery time.

So I came up with this plan, and have been sticking to it ever since. Three runs a week.One long run, 2 shorter runs at race pace. That's it. I already have a decent base so that wasn't an issue. So Saturdays I have been running long and slow and Mondays and Wednesdays I have been running fast. So far no injuries and plenty of time to rest up between runs.

I just finished my 21 km run this past weekend and what I considered a slow pace and did it in the same time I ran last years half. So that bodes well.I even did a race pace tempo bit from kilometer 15 to 18 and had no issues.

So will this plan work? Will I be able to accomplish my goal? Well so far I am feeling good about my pace and feeling good about the distance and I have no serious injuries. So I guess we will find out!
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