Thursday, January 12, 2017

Looking Ahead in 2017

Starting a new year means wiping the slate clean - and then filling it up will all the running and racing plans for the next 12 months!

Since 2016 was a pretty crummy year for me as far as running and racing, I've decided 2017 will be extra awesome to make up for it. Even though I'm feeling super motivated and enthusiastic about running right now, one thing I'm being careful about is not doing too much too soon. With races approaching, it's all too tempting to try to crank up mileage, run workouts too fast, or get carried away with gym work. That's why I'm back working with Coach Matt and ThunderDome Running. I know the training he creates for me will help lead me to success throughout the year. Being race ready doesn't happen overnight or in a week or even a month. It's about consistency week after week and month after month. I know Coach Matt will help me get there one small step at a time.

Once again I've decided to focus on shorter distance events: 5k and 10k. These are my favorite events to race so why not stick with what's enjoyable? :)  Here's what is on my schedule right now - although I will likely add more races as the year goes on.

Icebreaker Indoor 5k
Icebreaker Indoor Marathon Relay
Luck of the Irish 5k
Carlsbad 5000
Door County 5k
Rock 'n' Roll Chicago 10k
Race for the Bacon 5k
Lake Country 5k
Milwaukee Running Festival 10k

My goal race this spring is Carlsbad 5000. It's billed as the fastest 5k in the world so I figure there must be potential for running a fast time. The weather should be great since it's in California - I've heard temps in the 70s. And I really look forward to the wonderful coast and beach views. Although let's be honest - I typically don't remember a thing about course scenery when I race hard! My only concern is getting fit enough in time since it's only 11ish weeks away but if it doesn't happen in time, I'll still have Door County to run fast.

This fall, my goal race will be the Milwaukee Running Festival 10k. I'm super excited the race added the 10k distance to its lineup that already includes a marathon, half marathon, 5k and 1-mile races. This one falls at a perfect time of year - mid-October. Temps should be brisk and ripe for a fast time!

Last year's 5k race

To run fast this year, I'm going back to the basics. Run the workout paces Coach Matt gives me, run the easy runs easy, stretch daily, foam roll regularly, get 8 hours of sleep every day, eat food that fuels training. It sounds easy enough but I can't tell you how difficult following these basic rules is at times. Last year I was guilty of running too fast during workouts, especially those that included 400s that I love to rip. I also let stretching and foam rolling take a back burner when I was crunched for time. And let's just say one too many cookies made its way onto my plate. 

2017 = Fewer cookies

While perfection is not a realistic goal, I think doing most things right on most days will get me where I want - running strong and fast and without injury. 

Tell me: What are your goals in 2017? Where are you racing this upcoming year?

- ST