Wednesday, January 25, 2017

2017 Spring Training & Goals

One of my January goals was to register for my spring half. And I already let it slip that I registered for the Pittsburgh Half on May 7th. But, what I didn't say, is I also went rogue that day and registered for a few other spring races. Let's all take a minute to pay regards to my bank account, registering for three races in a day did my checking account no good.

My true goal race this spring is the Boston Trail Half Marathon. A small rails to trails race located near Pittsburgh. Registration caps at 900 participants, so it's definitely on the small side. But, I'm hoping the weather will still be cool or cold and that I'll be able to pull off a PR.

Two weekends after that will be the Pittsburgh Half Marathon. Just yesterday they released a new course map for 2017 which shows a few less hills. But my overall goal for this race is to just have fun, and not get sunburned a week before my wedding!

Leading up to this I have a few "tune up" races I'll be running. These are a good way to practice fueling and to get a test of my ability to run at my goal pace, and work on even pacing versus my traditional fly and die.


I'll be running the Spring Thaw in February - a race out at nearby North Park. There are 10,15 & 20 miles options, and you're even able to decide day of, or during the race. I plan to do the 10 miler. I haven't decided how I'll run the race yet, but thinking since I'll still be early in my training that I may focus on a faster second half and finishing strong, which has been a struggle of mine in the past.

Next up is a favorite of mine, Just a Short Run, in March, and always just a few days away from my birthday. The race offers 4 distances, 5K, 8.1 miles, 13.1 miles & 30K (18.6 miles). I've run the half and 30K distances before, but registered for the 8.1 mile race this year. It'll be an automatic PR as I've never raced the distance before - and a good opportunity to test out my goal race pace. There is one killer hill at the beginning, but a good gauge of how my training is going nonetheless.

So, how will I be training this spring? I was all busy making my own training plan, when Gretchen posted that she was using Kara Goucher's Half Marathon Training Plan - I hopped over to see what it was about & fell in love. The plan does a lot more speed work at and around race pace versus fast 400's at a pace I'll never run on race day. I immediately trashed my homemade plan, and for the first time in a while plan to use a pre-made one.


I've talked before about how and why I only run 3 days per week. I do plan to stick to that still, because it is what works for me. I will instead substitute extra cross training and weight lifting in place of additional runs. I plan to keep my long run on Saturday since that's what works for me, and gets me out with ProBike+Run. I traditionally have done speed work on Tuesdays - though not for any real reason. I'm toying with the idea of committing to doing speedwork in the evenings. I'm a morning worker-outer, but often struggle with 7AM speed work without the time to fuel and hydrate beforehand.

I'm ready to put in a hard training cycle - bust my ass for 10 weeks - and hopefully earn myself a PR at the end of it all.

What are you training for right now?
What time of day do you workout?
Has anyone used Kara's training plan before?

Linking up with Amanda + Marcia x Patty x Erika for Tuesdays on the Run

20 comments:

  1. This is so exciting!! Especially that you're using a pre-made training schedule. Speed workouts seem way more fun anyways. I kinda wanna come out for your Boston Trail race & cheer you on!! :D

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    1. I would obviously 100% love that. I think the course is just an out an back which is kind of meh, but it's FLAT!

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    2. Fantastic. I'm in :) I'll be your personal photographer!

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  2. Sounds like a lot of fun races on your schedule! I didn't know that Kara Goucher had training plans available. I'll have to look into that.

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    1. I don't know if she has others, mostly because I haven't done any research, but I love the look of this one.

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  3. Sounds like you're going to have a great season and crush that PR - good luck!!

    I've spent years trying to turn myself into a morning exerciser, but it is just not for me. I'll do it when I have to (i.e. to avoid summer heat), but otherwise, I finally realized I should just suck it up and run in the evening, and use all the mental energy it took to fight my natural preferences for something better.

    After everything I've gone through with physical and mental burn out, and shifting priorities, and taking more interest in my overall fitness, I've become much more drawn to the idea of running fewer times per week.

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    1. I love my 3 days of running each week, I feel like I look forward too it more, and am less burnt out overall.

      My mind loves exercising in the morning, but I feel like to truly give 110% my body is just not ready at 6 or 7 am which is what I would need to do.

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  4. I was thinking about doing a 4-mile race in May just for an automatic PR at a new distance. ;-)
    Kara's plan looks really cool. I have always made up my own plans in the past but for the first time this year I got a personalized half marathon plan from a coach, I'm excited to get started.
    I only run 3 days per week - It really works out best for me that way too. I used to like running first thing in the morning - Now I'm still a morning runner but I need a little more wake-up and coffee time.

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    1. Ooh - hope you'll talk more about your experience with a coach. I always wonder if people think it's worth it.

      I would love to do all my runs at like 9AM, but that pesky work thing always gets in the way!

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  5. Can I first say that whenever I see somebody's race plans, I get a major case of FOMO! even when I can't do those races!

    This looks great!

    My next race is scheduled to be Washington RnR, but I hope to find something before, I need some races soon!

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    1. One year I hope to toss RNR DC on my race list, the timing has just never quite worked out. Which is a bummer since so many folks I know do it every year.

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  6. I'm so happy you like Kara's plan! Isn't it the best? I can't wait to hear your experience with it. I'm also happy we'll be doing at least one race together this spring :)

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    1. Yes - maybe we can even race a lap together at Spring Thaw.

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  7. I only do 3 days of training per week too or 4 days, but I can't do more than that. I haven't ran a race in a long time, but I think I'm hoping to do a half marathon this spring too! training buddies!

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    1. Ooh - I hope you find a half that catches your eye. Such a fun motivator, at least for me, to work hard at training!

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  8. My next half is NOLA, then Utah Valley (have a raffle going for a free entry to that one for someone), then Wineglass in the fall. My husband perked up when I mentioned Craft Classic, which I enjoyed so much in Phoenix last year, is now doing one in Seattle (he has family near there).

    I think it's going to be in conflict with a work conference he has, plus they haven't released course info yet . . . Seattle is pretty killer when it comes to hills!

    I just hate when I have to do long runs near his sister/mother. It ain't flat where I live (upstate NY), but man, it's nothing like that!

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    1. Wineglass you say?! Now that sounds like a race I would love. I bet NOLA was a blast, such a fun city. I would run a race for beignets.

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  9. It sounds like you have a busy year ahead!

    I am training for a whole lottaaa nada ;)

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    1. Haha if it's not your jam it's not your jam, running races is so much fun for me, and I thought maybe I would take a break from it, but, I was bored and didn't want to workout, so back to racing!

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  10. Since you referenced this in this week's Weekly Wrap Post I was curious to check out which plan you were using!
    This is very interesting, I printed this out I love the variety in speed workouts and I think I'm going to pull a few to play with.

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