Planning to Run

a big race

a big race

2014 is a big year for my running.

My ultimate goal is to run the Hood To Coast relay in August, but I have a few way points:

  • lose some weight: depending on what you measure against, I am anywhere from twenty to forty pounds overweight. I’m reasonably fit despite that, but losing a stone or two* would help in all sorts of ways. Not least, my clothes would fit better.
  • figure out a team training plan. I volunteered to organize team training for the Hood to Coast. I’ve done some of this already, putting down markers to the other team members as to how the training I will be writing up should go, but I still need to finish that.
  • races. I am planning to run both the Shamrock Run 15K in March and theĀ Helvetia Half Marathon in June. Both of these are hilly routes, which seems like appropriate preparatory race conditions for a mountainous relay run in August.
  • injuries. Or rather avoidance thereof – increase load on my body gradually so as to not increase the risk of injuries, and also use low impact exercise to manage the injuries I already carry.

The training regimen, then, will be in three parts:

  1. distance – I need to be running about ten miles prior to the Shamrock and at least twelve prior to the Helvetia. I have a particularly brutal twelve mile loop which I used prior to my last Helvetia and which was, frankly, much tougher than that half marathon: do that again!
  2. speed – there will be some distance component in here, but I am planning to start interval training after Shamrock. There are two goals: to run faster, and to run easier. That second one may seem odd, but running faster is more mechanically efficient and so tends to be less tiring.
  3. endurance/recovery – the trick here is to get used to running on tired legs and dealing with heat. This is the portion that will be after Helvetia, and will feature such rigours as running into work in the morning, then back home in the evening.

These parts naturally fall into three phases which match the goal races: distance leading up to Shamrock, then speed (with additional distance) between Shamrock and Helvetia, and finally the endurance component between Helvetia and Hood to Coast. I’m also planning on doing some cycling in there to bolster my cardio fitness and allow for some non-impact exercise. The structure of this plan is also drawn in part from the training I did for my one marathon entry in 2004.

For the most part, the training will fit into time I am already setting aside for my exercise regimen so I do not expect my writing to be especially impacted**. If anything, I am hoping that this will improve my energy levels.

Do you have any fitness goals for the year? How do they interact with your creative goals?

[*] Britons measure personal weight in stones, one stone being fourteen pounds.

[**] except, perhaps, for days when I run or ride into work since that will prevent me writing on the bus.

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