Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A New Training Cycle and Giveaway Winner!

Hey Friends! After two months of running lower mileage (30 mpw), it's finally time to start spring race training. I think taking time to fully recover from my last big race was a smart decision because now I'm more than ready to start bumping up the intensity of my workouts and building toward my goal race in May. 

But before I start getting into this week's training plan, let me first take a moment to announce the winner (selected using random.org) of the LÄRABAR giveaway. Congratulations Laura @BackstageBalance! Please send me your email address, mailing address and phone number to pass along to my LÄRABAR contact. Thank you to everyone else who entered the giveaway - I wasn't sure how it would be received but given its popularity, I may have to do another one soon :)

 The exciting prize!

Anyhow, about that spring race training. My intention has been to use the Wisconsin Marathon as my goal race. However, because my base is not quite at the 40 mpw I had planned on at the start of training, I am considering shifting down to the half marathon event. Doing so would allow me to continue base building through January and start hitting workouts hard at the start of February. A solid three months of half marathon specific training could go a long way toward setting a big PR for the distance . . . 

I still have a week or two before I need to make my decision. In the meantime, I'll keep training as I would for the marathon. Right now, this includes 5 days of running per week, which will increase to 6 days per week after about a month. I'm hoping to get to 40 mpw by the end of January and then increase to 50-55 mpw during the peak training weeks.

Here's this week's plan:

Monday: 4 miles at steady pace; 45 minutes strength training
Tuesday: 8 miles speedwork
Wednesday: 6 miles at easy pace; 45 minutes strength training
Thursday: 6-8 miles speedwork
Friday: Rest Day
Saturday: 12 miles at easy pace
Sunday: Rest Day

I'm still getting over what must be the worst cold/flu I've ever had, so hopefully I can get through all of these workouts!

I want your input: Do you think I should do the Wisconsin Marathon or the Half Marathon event? Also, tell me about your big race(s) this spring and how you plan on training for them!

On a final note, the forecast is showing 50 degrees for Saturday. Shorts in January in Wisconsin? I'll take it :)

- ST


  1. Thanks again, Sun!
    Regarding the half / full marathon dilemma, my advice is to listen to your body. Perhaps it will be best to target the half marathon distance for the spring, and move onto a full for the fall.
    Also, the half marathon at Ice Age 50 still has entries for those who sign up for the Striders Challenge series :)

    1. Thanks for the advice and enjoy the Larabars :)

  2. hey sun! i did the half at the wisconsin marathon last year and it was pretty enjoyable. I did see the full had a lot of switchbacks it seemed so i'm not sure if that's something you would be interested in. it was really cool running along lake michigan though and the shirts and medals were cute! :) good luck either way!

    1. Thanks for the feedback! I've heard the course is great so I am definitely excited to check it out no matter which race I end up doing :)

  3. I would recommend doing the full. I found that marathoning takes a good amount of practice that is hard to gain unless you are actually racing. I think long runs are super important but nothing is like racing. You will be able to learn how your body is reacting to the race, the best times to drink/eat etc etc. If you are hoping to go for a BQ is the fall, Wisconsin will be a great warm up and it's at a nice time. You will be able to rest in may and then start working you way back in June, just in time for all the badger build up runs for lakefront. Plus Sheila and I are running the full! No pressure. you know your body and what you need to do for you!

    1. I definitely want to practice fueling faster during a marathon. Since I ended up just running Lakefront to finish, I was pretty pokey getting water, taking gels, etc. Can't do that during an actual race!

  4. I'm so excited for the warm(er) weather and getting to run outside again! I think you should do the half marathon for PR, for no reason other than not wanting to push it when you are sick!

    1. Being sick definitely makes training tough but hopefully I'll kick this flu/cold sometime soon!