Monday, April 1, 2013

No More Fooling Around

One aspect I have enjoyed most about racing is I have continued to train without much downtime, until March.  The month started as I was still recovering from a virus and I decided it would be best to take it easy not wanting a relapse. I was also helping organize/run my MOPS group's bi-annual consignment sale from March 3-9; these weeks never seems to leave extra time for exercise. The week following consignment sale week is always a catch-up week for me, so again no runs or workouts. 

I really had no idea what to expect from myself going into the Georgia Publix Half Marathon on March 17th. After only running 2.83mi between The Princess Half and Georgia Publix Half, I still managed to set a new PR for myself. I know this is because I have trained a lot since my first Half Marathon on November 18th, and I was under trained going into that race. It's reassuring to know little slip ups in my training wont be too devastating BUT I wonder what I could have PR'd if I had continued better training.

This idea of better training has had been analyzing other bloggers training plans and researching different training options. I followed the Couch to 5K App training plan, then really just did my own thing beyond that.  I notice that when I get into one type of training, I have a really hard time adding in variety. I think the best plan for me would be to actually have a plan!

Why do I need a plan? Even though I have a 26.2 and 13.1 magnets on my car, I still consider myself a rookie in this sport. I only started the Couch to 5K training in June 2012. I have come a long way, but there is still lots to learn and I want to treat my body right. If I follow the right plan, I will achieve my goals without any overuse injury. 

What are my goals? Currently my 5K PR is 34:17 from the ATC Heart & Sole 5K on February 9th and my 13.1 PR is 02:36:17. I would like to sub-30min on a 5K (and maybe sub 28 for the Vinings Down Hill in August). I would like to sub-02:15 by October for optimal corral placement for the Wine & Dine Half Marathon. I also would like to be able to run an entire half marathon without walking intervals.

I have decided to try Another Mother Runner's Half-Marathon: Finish It Plan. This plan seems to be the best option for MY success. This training plan was written by two mothers, so there is flexibility throughout. On the actual training plan there are two icons, a coffee cup and a water bottle. The coffee cup is a "Bail if Necessary" option saying "If you need your usual running time to fill your empty fridge or take care of some other task, go for it.". Obviously the water bottle is the opposite, it "simply must be done in order to ensure success". I'll be following the first week as listed here below.
     Monday: Easy 3 miles with 4 strides; or XT (Bail if Necessary)
     Tuesday: 4-5 miles
     Wednesday: XT; or Rest
     Thursday: 3-4 miles
     Friday: 3 miles; or XT
     Saturday: Long Run: 6 miles
     Sunday: REST

The more I workout and exercise, the healthier food choices I make. When I slack on exercise, I end up making poor food choices. Since March was so minimal in the training department, I have noticed myself allowing more flavored coffee creamer than the suggested servings and splurging on candy around the house left over from Valentine's and Easter Egg Hunts. Last week I saw a friend ReTweet a Sugar Detox Challenge. I emailed the link to myself so I could read later and I didn't get around to reading it until our drive home from Florida last night. This challenge is being organized by Laura of to help hold herself accountable and is offering prizes for those who participate. Again, this detox will only enhance my training so I'm giving it a go. 

Since I'm starting April out with a bang, I might as well restart my planks. Back in the fall I started planking daily, but like usual, something got me out of my routine and it was difficult restarting. Planking is also not easy when you have sore legs from running! Carissa, from Fit2Flex, tweeted last night a blog post about an "AB APRIL" Challenge to "improve your plank workout". Since the core is very important to running, I'm also going to incorporate this "AB April" Challenge to my training.

So now that all this training is actually "on paper", I hope it will help me with my training and to achieve my goals. I plan to use my scheduled REST on Sunday from training to recap this first week of April.

-How do you decided on a training plan?
-Do you have any current goals you are working towards? This does not have to be fitness related!


AuburnGirl said...

I usually follow a training guide to keep me motivated to run. I also try to do cross training on the days I am not running.

I slacked last week. Time to start focusing on future races.

Amy Albers said...

WOW! That's a pretty big challenge! I'm horrible at doing anything but running, and since I'm not doing another half until fall, I've been slack about that, too! I do like the Mother Runner book.

Lena said...

I know what you mean about making less healthy choices when you work out less. I find I do the same thing, it's a vicious cycle, I tell you!
That is quite a few challenges to take on at the same time. Kudos to you and I can't wait to hear how it all works out this month! I had high hopes to start the plank a day again along with integrating more running and trying some new cross training.
Then my back went out on me and there went all of my plans, whomp whomp.

You inspire me dearie and I can't wait to read your blog posts on your progress!

Cynthia Marks said...

"When I slack on exercise, I end up making poor food choices." SO TRUE! I've suffered through this for the majority of the past two years. Now that I'm beginning to get back on track, making "smart" choices is beginning to get a little easier. Love your quote!!! :)