Thursday, February 6, 2014

Spring Training and Racing Plans

After two weeks of laziness combined with some extra pounds and easy jogging, it's now time to get back to work. Well, somewhat. I'm hopping on board a little earlier than most people would but I plan on having a shortish season, followed by a nice break. Here's what I'm looking at doing, with a rough timeline.  While things appear pretty on paper, reality seldom has them go that way

  • Increase my mileage to around 115 a week or so.  I won't need as much mileage training for the longer stuff.
  • Incorporate stuff at 10k pace or faster with extra recovery.  I don't want to jump right into the intense stuff right off the bat so I don't become stale before my season ends.  The key is to stay in touch with faster running so I can transition to it easier down the road and also because I feel you should stay somewhat in touch with your speed, nearly year-round. 
  • Incorporate longer, moderate running.  While I'm training for shorter races, I'm still a marathoner, so it's important to not lose the metabolic adaptations I've made.  I was listening to the Mark Hadley podcast on RunFanRadio a couple of weeks ago and the host, Ben Rosario, mentioned that you just can't train however you want and then try and jump into a 12-week  or whatever marathon cycle and expect to be ok. I spent a long time teaching myself to turn from a 5k runner to a marathoner and I don't want to go backwards. Yeah, I'll sacrifice some of my speed in the shorter distances, but who cares?
  • Run a little bit of marathon-pace stuff.  If I were coming off a half-marathon cycle, opposed to a marathon cycle, I'd run a good bit more marathon-type stuff during this time.  But I feel like I covered my bases pretty well over the last couple of months, so I only need to stay in-touch with it, rather than build it.
  • Spend more time on strength/power.  I've been lazy on my hill sprints for quite some time, so I will jump into those and be consistent with them.  I'll also add the lunge matrix before my runs, the myrtle routine after my runs and get back to my squats.  I may even go all out and sell my weights/squat rack and join the gym up the road. 
  • Shift to some quality work at half-marathon pace without killing myself.  Stuff like 4-6 mile tempos, longer fartleks with short rest, longer intervals on the track, etc. 
  • Make my shorter speed days harder by extending the intervals/shortening the rest.  Instead of doing something like 6x1 mile at 10k pace with 3:00 rest, change it to 2:00 rest. Instead of 20x400m at 5k pace with 1:00 rest, speed it up to 3k pace or even a little faster.
  • Get in some fast races
  • Keep the mileage steady
  • Keep around the moderate running
  • Continue strength/power based stuff

  • More work at half-marathon pace.  Old-school training has you ramp up on speed as the season winds down but that doesn't work well for me.  I feel you should spend a lot of time at the pace you plan on running for your peak race.  Running more than 5% slower or faster on your harder days, during your last training cycle, won't have much carry-over value for that specific race. 
  • Throw in some marathon-specific workouts.  Marathon pace is probably about 4% slower or maybe even slightly less if you have a huge gas tank, than 25k pace, so this fits into the proper workout intensity for this time period.  It will also help keep me "marathon strong" for the fall. 
  • Set some PR's
  • Ramp up the mileage some as intensity falls
  • And yes, keep around the strength/power stuff
  • Peak

I'm also focusing much more on the little things this season.  More time using my stretching rope, use my Stick/foam roller/PVC pipe more, more strength stuff and drills and I may even cough up the cash and get a monthly massage.  Watch out.

And here are the planned races I have for the Spring.  I will probably jump in a couple more as workouts but as of now, these are the races I'm ready to go all-out in.

March 16th: Gate River 15k (USA 15k Champs).  I won't be too sharp for this one and I don't really have a time goal.  It's been a bucket list race for the past couple of years and my goal is to go out there and compete, really, really hard.  And of course I will put some guys on my hit list once I see the entries.

March 23: Middle Tennessee Shootout 5k. This is a first-year Nashville race that is on a fast course. My friend is putting it on and is doing his best to make it a quality race.  I'd like to attack the State Record (14:13) here if I can.

April 4th: Stanford 5000m or 10000m.  Hopefully I get into the meet because the track is short and downhill.  If I get in, I'll shoot for at least sub 14 or sub 29.  If I don't get in, I'll run the Sea Ray Relays 5000m the next week.

April 19th: Derby miniMarathon:  I ran 64:39 here two years ago when I was just shooting for sub 66. The course is flat and fast and if mother nature cooperates and if training is going well, I'll shoot for a new PR and maybe even sub 63:00.

May 10th: USA 25k Championships.  After this race last year, I vowed to never run this race or return to the state of Michigan again. Ever.  But 25k is a good distance for me and I want to go for some revenge. So I guess I'll be heading up there again and will make it my peak race (and not run a marathon two weeks beforehand again).

May 26th: Bolder Boulder 10k Uphill, 10k, at altitude...what am I thinking?  This will be on my running break but I will still race it all-out.  Newton wants all of their guys to race it, so I'm going to jump on board.  I also saw that a teacher with 16 years of experience and a PhD. makes over $97,000 in the Boulder Valley School District.  Anyone have a hook-up for a PE and Kindergarten Teacher? And a house that isn't half the size of the one I have now at double the price?


  1. Great post Scott. I like the way you are approaching the spring - smart, systematic.

    I've developed a healthy relationship w/ my foam roller (after 3 years of neglecting it). Finally learned to love it... or rather, the lack of knots in my muscles.

    No Music City Marathon?!?! The local crowd is going to be disappointed. You aren't even a real runner if you don't win that one.

  2. Man, I get asked that at least once a week. I think I may do the half-marathon if I don't have to kill myself.

    1. Looks like there is money for winning as well as time bonuses at CMM this year for both the full and the half.

      What do you think about the Derby Marathon (not half). I was looking over the CMM course changes last night and am thinking about looking for another race (that doesn't involve spending $2,000 and racing on a Monday)

  3. It looks like it has some hills on it and is much more rolling than the half. I've heard the Carmel Marathon around that time frame is a fast course and it's only a few hours up the road and cheap to stay in.

    What about scratching a marathon and getting in a few halves and then crack sub 2:40 in the fall?

    1. Yeah, I am definitely doing Tom King. I have some travel planned for early May, so my season will be done then.

      That looks like a fun Spring schedule you have picked out.