Sunday, August 12, 2012

New Running Plan

Last season was all about speed and breaking 5 hours in the marathon. That took a lot of work, but the reward was totally worth it. This season the focus is the Goofy Challenge, which is not at all about speed. I thought I would still do some speed work and try to improve my times at shorter races, but with the move to San Francisco my plans have changed.

I'm still keeping up with my running, and my endurance is stellar, but running here is a whole other ball game because of the hills. So my focus right now is going to be on volume to build crazy endurance for Goofy, and on building the muscle adaption necessary to run on hills and on back to back days.  That means slow runs with lots of walk breaks, to avoid injury and ensure that I recover quickly before the next run.

I've also fallen in love with trail running ever since I ran the Presidio Cross Country 5K on August 5th. It's very primal, the views are amazing, it keeps me occupied as I negotiate the next terrain or elevation change, and the lower impact of the soft ground is a great way to help me avoid injury from the pounding of the high milage. Since I'm using leg muscles I didn't before, to stabilize on the uneven surfaces of the trails or power through a hill, I'm also building leg strength. That should serve me well when I go run Goofy on the mostly flat course in Orlando.

This means that an ultramarathon is absolutely in the cards for me now. I was hesitant to do 30+ miles on a trail, but now I totally understand why most ultras take place there. No one wants the pounding from cement and asphalt for that long. Since I'll already be building milage for Goofy, I'll be primed for an ultra so my first official one will probably be in early 2013.

I plan to start running 4 days a week, basically taking 1-2 rest days every 2 days. Any mid-week back to back runs won't be very long runs, but they may be challenging -- hills or trails or both -- followed or preceded by a very easy recovery run on a flat route. Of course, I'll probably also be walking on rest days, because that's my main mode of transportation; that should also help with the hill adaption. Then every 2-3 weekends I'll do back to back long runs per the Goofy schedule.  I may still go to the track or do some tempo runs on shorter runs, but I'm not going to worry too much about those. I want to get back to enjoying running without too much structure and doing races for fun instead of some do or die pace goal.

This is going to be fun! :)


Jen is Losing It. said...

Woohoo trail running sounds awesome! Is there anything similar in Florida I could try? I mean, we have Cady Way and the West Orange Trail, but somehow I feel like those aren't the same as the pretty SF trails, lol. Plus, you're probably less likely to get raped out there. That reminds me...I need to get a whistle to go along with the pepper spray my mom sent me.

Anywaaaayyyy I'm so stoked for your new ultra adventure! You never cease to amaze me, girl. Good luck - can't wait to hear how this journey progresses.

Thanks again for pushing me. :o)

Kitzzy said...

Yeah, those are more urban trails. Wekiva Springs is a good place for trail running. I never made it out there, but there are groups who run out there regularly. I hear there is a clay road trail in Clermont. Yolanda or Holly on DM would know. 

Jen is Losing It. said...

 Oooh OK I will ask around!

Lizbeth Lieberman said...

You're so adaptable. Love that! It's so great that you're taking on new terrain and challenges. The trails and mountains are what I miss the most about CA. This will be great for your ultra goals for sure. Glad you're enjoying so far!

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