Thursday, January 11, 2018

Reflecting on the Training Cycle

Leading up to the Brookings half marathon, I really thought our training cycle had been an A+. When I was weeks from the Twin Cities 10 mile, I started doing some comparisons of that cycle vs this one to get my brain to that place mentally to prove I could hit my goal times. I was astounded to see so many missed runs, especially early on in training. Essentially I did an 8 week base building schedule followed by a 12 week training plan, so it makes sense that some runs would be missed over a 5 month span :P but still. The 4-5 weeks leading up to Brookings were stellar so maybe that's where the skewed perception came from.

From January to race day in Brookings, I ran about 359 miles. In those miles, I ran 7 long runs (10+ miles consecutively), including 2 half marathon races. One raced, one done as a long run. I had three 20-24 mileage weeks, three 25-29 mileage weeks, and two 30-34 mile weeks. In these weeks I averaged 18.73 miles/week. I ran just over 100 miles during the month of April with 104 miles, otherwise my monthly mileage ranged from 41-90. I averaged 77 miles/month.

Our TC10 training started mid-July. From July until race day, I ran about 378 miles. Slightly more mileage, but in 2.5 months less time! I ran 11 long runs (including 8 milers as our plan had us starting with 8's for a ten mile training cycle). Additionally I ran another 8 runs of 8-10 miles for mid-week distances, for 19 long runs over that period of time! I had five 20-24 mile weeks, one 25-29 mile weeks, four 30-34 mile weeks, two 35-39 mile weeks, and one 40+ week. I averaged almost 32 miles/week.
I ran over 100 miles for July, August, and September ranging from 112-141 miles for those hot and sweaty months. Barf. I averaged 125.68 miles per month.

Brookings TC10
20-24/week 3 6
25-29/week 3 1
30-34/week 2 4
35-39/week 0 2
40+/week 0 1

Leading up to the half in Massachusetts in November, I didn't really follow a plan; I raced a lot of 3 miles and a 5k, so there was a lot of speed work, and just one long run of 11 miles. Despite not really training specifically for the half marathon distance, and just getting in miles, I still ran 10 seconds per mile faster than I did for the Brookings race in May.

Looking back at these training cycles, it's clear that the more mileage I do, on as consistent basis as possible is what sets me up best for success on race day. One of my big goals for 2018 is to not skip long runs! It's the one run a week that I can find 100 excuses for. But as 2017 was wrapping up, I really found myself looking forward to them. Perhaps I'm turning over a new leaf. Stay tuned!

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