Completing 2 marathons in 1 year fulfilled my 2016 long-distance running goal.
I proved to myself that running my first marathon in 2014 was not a fluke and that I could complete 2 marathon training cycles and 1 shorter training cycle in between without injuring myself.
So what’s next?
2017 Running Goals
My ultimate, far-in-the-future goal is to become super fast and qualify for the Boston Marathon. And for that, I don’t need to keep proving to myself that I can run the marathon distance. I need to start honing in on the skill of speed – tap into the Speed Force like Barry Allen.
Speed is a skill and I’m going to train for it.
I’m going to continue to strengthen my feet (rebuild my arches), keep my increased mileage base (~35 miles/week, 5 days a week), and add quality speedwork days to my routine.
To get faster at the marathon distance, I need to get faster at all the shorter distances. By becoming a faster and better runner — I’ll become a better marathoner.
And with that in mind, I’m forgoing the spring marathon.
2017 Training Cycles
Starting next week, I’m diving into an 18-week half marathon training plan that I created from scratch. I’ll have a half marathon race halfway through and at the end with the goal of a sub-2 hour time.
After a quick break, I’ll take advantage of the road race season and start either a 5K or 10K training cycle.
In the fall, I’ll either do another half marathon training cycle or a full marathon training cycle, if I really find myself missing the full distance.
Customized Training Plans
As I have gained experience running, training, and certifying as a running coach, I’ve become increasingly displeased with the free training plans available online.
Don’t get me wrong – having access to training plans has made it possible for recreational runners to become comfortable with the training process and to see improvement.
But while a cookie-cutter plan is good, a customized training plan is better.
I’m now equipped to design training plans. I can build a plan around my chosen races, base the plan on which days I can train, start exactly at my fitness-level, and incorporate time for my favorite non-running hobbies and side-goals.
Would I be able to search online for a half marathon plan that starts at 35 miles a week, includes over-distance long runs, incorporates running drills and strides, and slowly blends in minimal/barefoot running? Uh, no!
If you’d like to see my half marathon training plan, you can see it here.
Custom Training Plans for You
Free online plans just list miles or times, but don’t tell you how fast or slow to go. What pace should your long run be? What pace should your easy run be? You guess with the free plans, giving wildly different results from one person to person.
How do you like to train? What are your favorite workouts? Where is your long run at? A customized training plan will be all the things you need and none of the things you don’t.
I’m opening my plan design services starting in January for all of you resolution-ers and those with spring goals. I can’t wait to work with you to design a plan that finally fits you and works for you.
Good luck next year! The half marathon is my favorite distance. My goal for 2017 is to PR (<1:50), but my target race isn't until August so right now I'm just working on my base and hopefully will start picking up speed in the spring. I might get your help putting together a training plan for next summer!
I don’t think I’ve given the half marathon its due – I’m excited to train this Spring for it and fully experience what it’s all about. I’d love to work with you on a training plan – a PR summer sounds like a good summer!
I’m undecided about whether I’ll have any time goals for 2017. My goals are to get back into running and be ready for two half marathons in June that are a week apart. They’ll be at a higher elevation and involve some hills, so I have a lot to work on! I’ll definitely need a customized training plan.
I already have so many ideas for this. What a fun racing goal!
As we had undoubtedly discussed, I started and gave up running last year, which is little sad as I never got any good at it. Maybe try again in 2017?
Definitely, AFTER the wedding though!
Yeah, cause giving me something else to stress over would be a supremely bad idea.