Monday, March 2, 2020

The 2020 Training Season is Well Under Way

So I haven't posted in awhile but I haven't just been sitting around. My first planned race isn't until May with the Bluenose (and I am still not 100% decided on what I will be racing there). Usually by now I have raced something, but the MEC series is now over, I am only skating this year for fun, and there is no Tri the Oval.

Overall the weather hasn't been that bad. Yes, a few storms here and there, but really, nothing that has lasted on the ground for long. So my goal so far has been to train hard for the running season.

Though I had great success last year with my running, I have been training the same way for quite some time and it is time to change things up a bit and experiment. Normally I am a fairly low mileage runner with 60km weeks being large and the fear of injury on big weeks being a driving factor for staying with what works.  Now however, it is time to try a few risks (smart and calculated risks).

So I have been building my run mileage, not focusing on speed as much, and so far so good. January started out fairly normal, having had a nagging knee pain right before Christmas. I built up my long run a bit, but focused more on running a bit longer during the week, taking my 40 minute weekly runs to 50 minutes. By the end of January I was up in the 60 km range.

I kept that mileage up, focused on recovery and started to build the long run even more, plus a mid week long run as well. Now in February I also started to build in climbing / hills more as well. Races here are seldom flat, and though I never shy away from hills, I realize that I could be doing more. By the end of February I had achieved two weeks with new mileage highs for myself , 89.5 km and then 96.5 km. I didn't run weeks like that when I did my marathon a few years back.  These weeks also included long runs in the 30-34 km range and over 1000m of climbing each week.

4 loops of Parkland and over 400m of elevation?  Yikes

Now that I have hit those numbers, it is easy to just want to go further, but now is not the time. The smart play is a small taper then a look at doing a little more speed.  I'm going to keep the weekly runs to 50 minutes and drop the long run a bit.

But hey now, it wasn't all just builds these past months. What else was I up to?

Well, I was selected again to be an Ambassador for Nuun, an electrolyte drink for athletes.  This is my second year and it is a product I quite like a lot. I'm not one for consuming a lot of calories on runs, even long ones. But having a slightly flavoured drink does help me drink more often, and thus stay hydrated (a good way to help recovery). With almost no calories, it works well for me.

I continue to run parkruns when I can and will be focusing on my goal of at least 1 sub 18 minute 5 km run per month. I began January 1st with a parkrun in Boulder, Colorado. My 19:23 time was not my best of course, but in snow and at altitude, I'll take it.  After coming home, I snagged a 17:44 at the local parkrun. So January was now clear.

Then I was asked by Paula J. to help her on her quest to better her indoor Masters record for Canada in the 5000m. Not being a track guy at all, I wasn't sure how much help I would be. But we ran side by side and got her to her goal and beyond with an 18:08.  My first track meet went well then it seems.

My run club held its AGM and elected 2 new board members. I feel really great about continuing to serve on the board and guide our fun group. Go BLTRunners!

I helped Luke MacDonald and friends organize another micro charity 5K fundraiser run in support of Team in Training (raising funds to combat Leukemia). The weather held on what was looking to be a bad day, and we had a great event.

And then February parkruns happened as well. I started the month with a 17:35 5K (meeting my goal) then ended with a 17:34 5K on super tired legs (then managed a 34 km run the next day). I am really happy with those numbers.  The BLTRunners also took over the parkrun one week as well, and the numbers swelled to 60 runners that day.

So yeah, it has been a decent start to the year and I am looking forward to what March and April bring.