Last December, I ran my first 50k at the Tallahassee Ultra Distance Classic. It was a small, well-organized race.... all road, five 10k laps. I trained consistently and had a solid race, finishing in just under 5:35. During my training, I ran marathon distance twice: once in an actual marathon (Pensacola, which was brutal) and then from my house to my parents' house on Thanksgiving. That was pretty epic, and the turkey has never tasted so good! I used the UltraLadies 50k training plan, which alternated high and low-mileage weeks, and it was one of the most enjoyable training seasons I have ever had.
So now that the heat is driving up into the 90's, that means it is time to start training for fall/winter races again! Since I enjoyed last year's training so much, I decided to follow the same plan for the same goal race. However, this year I would like to improve my race time, and I am making three major changes to my training:
1. Speed Training... Despite my best intentions, I didn't do much speed training last year. Almost ever run was at an easy pace. This year, I plan to incorporate some tempo pace, speed intervals, or hills into my mid-week semi-long run. Nothing crazy hard, but enough to remind my body what it feels like to push past my comfort zone.
2. Strength Training... Again, nothing crazy. This spring, I started following some of the BeachBody workout DVDs, and as a result, I slimmed down and gained some muscle. I'm mainly going to focus on PiYo during my training cycle. It is a low impact program, with a focus on flexibility and core strength. Three or four PiYo workouts per week would be a great balance to the running.
3. Nutrition... Something else I learned from the BeachBody programs was the importance of good fuel. I've always KNOWN that food is fuel, but it took the discipline of following an actual nutrition plan for me to see where I needed to improve. For me, it has been eating more veggies and making more quality choices when it comes to carbs.
All of these changes, but particularly the strength training, will take more discipline than I've had to summon in a long time. Accountability has always been a good motivator for me, so I have decided to blog about my training -- each week's planned workouts, actual workouts, and nutrition summary.
I ran my first official training run this morning, and it went well. I still need to get in a strength training workout tonight. Double workout days will take some getting used to.
If you're still reading, thanks for joining me!