Sunday, September 18, 2011

Looking forward - what's coming up next

So, it's now been a week since my Olympic triathlon.  This week, I took it easy.  My plan had been to just run and bike when I felt like it - no pressure.  I actually ended up doing a lot less then I planned, due to getting hit with a cold during the week.  Rather then train through the illness, like I would at other times, I took it easy and got more sleep.  I only ran twice, and didn't bike at all.  Now, that the week is over (and I'm feeling better), and it's time to get serious about training again.

Today, I sat down and planned out my run training for my next half marathon (the last chance half marathon, Nov 19).  In order to do this, I had to make a decision.  What are my goals for this half?

I seriously considered speed work.  I am honestly of the opinion that I have untapped speed.  I have the potential to go significantly faster then I have - if I work for it.  (And that work can't just come from just being tough on race day; I'd need to do speed work in training.)  I have never done any real speed work.  Sure, I occasionally push myself a bit more on a run, or I'll sprint to the finish.  Real, planned, consistent speed work?  None.

On the other hand, I have to ask myself what I want out of this race.  It's not my first half marathon.  I did do one in April, so my goal isn't "just" to finish.  Looking back though, I've always been disappointed with the Police half.  Yes, I finished, but I felt like the course and the distance beat me.  I paced poorly and crashed towards the end.  So, is speed what I want the most with my next half marathon?  Some serious thought tells me no.

What I want with my next half marathon is a solid and well paced race.  I not only want to finish, but I want to finish strong.  So, with that in mind, I'll continue to focus on running volume and consistency.  I am a good place with my run volume, as I kept it high going into my Olympic triathlon.  I'll build a little bit more and my last couple long runs before taper will have me doing 24km (15mi) rather then the 18 km (11mi) I topped out at last time.  I'm confident that having a few solid runs that are longer then the race distance will give both my body and mind the edge I need this time around.

In other news, I did a few google searches for half ironman training plans.  I won't be specifically starting to train for one until December or January at the earliest, but I wanted to see where I needed to be prior to beginning the plan.  I was surprised and pleased to see that my training volumes in all three sports are already at the point where I could start half-iron training.  Sweet!

(Today I volunteered at my first race, and Spud and Sweetpea raced a kids' 1 km.  The pictures are on my husband's phone though, so that blog post will come when he sends them to me...)


  1. I am a big believer in speed work as part of almost every training plan (there can be some debate for certain athletes training for Ironman). "speed work" raises your threshold and makes effort at all levels easier.

    Now, all speed work is not created equal. One of the best work outs to consider for the distance you are racing is a broken 5k. After a warmup of 10' or so, do 5x1k @ 5k race pace with recovery in between. I typically advise to jog 200m back to the start on a 400m track. Afterwards cool down as always.

    There has to be balance w/ this type of training but it definitately should be considered.

  2. WOW a half ironman! That's huge. You can totally do it. I'm looking forward to seeing how the training goes.

  3. The Last Chance Half is a great race! It is nice and flat compared to the Police Half. There are plenty of workouts you can do to improve your speed. Is Angie just your swim coach or is she working up a training plan for you?