Friday, May 13, 2016

I'm Really Training this Time

After registering for the Mexico City Marathon I blogged about my need to train. I must take preparation seriously for this challenging race at 7,200 ft elevation and mostly uphill. I drafted a plan to include hill workouts and speed workouts into my routine, to do strength training and long runs or races every weekend. It's not an unreasonable training plan, but I wasn't following one for at least a few months before I started this new one. I'm now more motivated than I have been, and training is going well.

One of my local trails is the W&OD trail, and is only a half mile or less from home;  the trailhead, Mile 0 has a big hill and that's where I ran hill repeats last week

Hills: Not only did I force myself to do hill repeats during a training run last week, I also ran a hilly half marathon last weekend (and have another scheduled for the upcoming weekend). Instead of allowing myself to walk the hills, as I have in the past, I made myself run them, even if slow. This is the only way I'll improve. It felt good to do this for myself.

Speed: Until this week I hadn't done any speed work since last summer. I just completed my first speed session of the new training cycle on the local high school track.

Short Training Runs: At my running club this week I set out to run our 3 mile loop feeling like maybe I was under-hydrated (I wasn't) or under-fueled (I wasn't). I didn't allow the initial feeling of weakness to deter me from my goal. That goal was to run faster than normal, though I didn't specify a pace. Allowing myself to take walk breaks during the short run gave me the ability to pick up the pace on the running intervals. I didn't break any speed records, but I ran fast for me, for right now. I caught up with some of the slightly faster runners, and passed people going up hills. It did tire me, and I welcomed those walk breaks, but I felt like a champion. And all I did was go slightly faster than my old self and run with a more positive attitude.

Strength Workouts: Nothing crazy here...just the fact that I'm doing them. For now, only one strength session per week, but once my current routine becomes habit, I'd like to add a second day. 

I'm only in my second week of the new training plan, but it already feels much more successful than any plan of mine from the recent past. I'm motivated. I'm feeling rewarded after each workout. I'm feeling faster and more confident. At this point, these improvements are mostly mental. As time progresses and I get into better shape, I'm sure I'll see some real physical gains too.

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