2011 is here and it is time for those pesky New Years Resolutions. I'm just as bad as everyone in making promises I can't keep so this year instead of swaying from my normal everyday patterns I'm going to adapt what I currently do to make myself better. I'll spare you the details on personal life resolutions and stick to the running and health focused ones.
1. I'm tired of bonking in a race. Getting to mile 6 at my goal pace and feeling great then getting to mile 8 and falling apart. After my last 1/2 marathon I sat back and criticed my training schedules in the past and where I tend to fall apart in a race. I'm beginning to notice a trend that it is not the speed that I need to work on in my training. When I run a shorter race at the equal goal pace to my half training plan I have no problems. It is the endurance and stamina that I seem to have issues with. I have the speed in my body to run a 2:05, I proved that at my last 10K, what I need is the ability to not wear down at mile 8. I can run around the track for 800m just fine, but when I transfer that speed to the road I just can't sustain it. This year I am going to focus on base building and training plans that allow me to build my endurance. Each week will be a tempo run at various speeds and distances (Low end is a slower pace for longer duration, mid zone is a 1/2 goal pace for mid range distance, and high end is more like a long track workout with 10K pace for mile repeats) as well as a run on a hilly area in the city or the treadmill. My long runs each week will vary between a shorter progressive run to a long slow run. Hopefully all these together will give me a good base to build my endurance for the length of the race. Not sure what my race training plan will be yet, but it will follow in the same form with no track!
2. I plan on running a marathon a year from now. My goal with the above is to give myself a great base to build off when training time comes. I don't want to compete in the marathon, but at the same time I don't want to be miserable and finish in a painful amount of time. I would like to be able to cross before 4:30 - but that will require me to be strong going into training and not building my mileage during training.
3. A few years ago I made the effort to lose a lot of weight. I love about 35 pounds over a 4 month period. I have been successful in staying at the same weight since that time (mid 140s) but I'm ready to make another push and get into the 130s and stay there. I've gotten close but have never been able to break through. This year I am going to get back to the healthy eating life, not the eat healthy some of the week and break down on the weekends. Everything I put in my mouth is a conscious decision - striving to eat more veggies, fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins; making sure I stay away from unhealthy and calorie lading desserts and meals that don't benefit me in the long run. There will be no food restrictions - no can't eat chocolate, can't drink coke, can't have fries - but if I eat them I want to be completely aware of what I'm doing and how it affects me.
4. Finally I want to hold true to these resolutions the whole year. I guess this is why I'm writing them out like this - so I can go back once a month and read what I am striving to do, when I start to forget and go back to my old ways I can catch myself and regroup. Next December when I have the desire to throw it all away and pig out between Christmas and New Years I will have a new perspective to think about and will go for the veggie sticks instead of the chicken wings.
So there it is, there is my goals not just for this year but to make as a part of my life so that I can focus on something different next year and not on repeating the ideas of the year before. I'm sure I will be back to reflect on how things are going (and hopefully with some great race reports).