Last year, I took on quite a few training and diet challenges which I completed, but as I start this year I have been reflecting on how much longer term good they actually did me. Prime example is diet. Over the year, I lost 30lbs but put it back on again when the rigours of that particular diet challenge were over. Running was much the same.
In February, I took part in the inaugural “Run until you Drop“, run or walk the amount of miles in that day, every day at the month. I loved (and hated) it and was really pleased to actually do it, but I didn’t achieve what I wanted which was to kick start my running for the year.
I am trying to learn the lessons from all that and do it properly this year. So, I am going to try and discipline myself and stick to a long term training programme in order to be able to do what I want to do. I have a BIG goal planned for the Autumn, but before I even get to finalising it as my aim for the year, I need to make a good start on the training.
I am a very slow runner. I know I always will be and I accept that. I know I can keep going steadily for a long time and also endure a reasonable amount of suffering. What I would like, is to feel more at ease running and do it better. Be less heavy on my feet, less stiff and more confident. I can live with the pain, but my total lack of grace when I run, is something I want to change. I think the way for me to do that, is to run more regularly.
Trying to find the perfect training plan is fraught with difficulty. There are many out there. What I have come up with is a bit of a hybrid.
To start with, I am going right back to basics as I haven’t run properly for a few months. The next three weeks are all about laying down a foundation. I am following the first three weeks of Hal Higdon’s Novice Half Marathon plan, which is basically 3 short runs and one long run a week, with one short run at pace.
Then I am going to swap into his Novice 2 Marathon Program which should take me nicely towards the Uganda Marathon in early June. It is slightly more challenging but again follows the short run/long run principle. I will be mixing it up with regular hill work in the Atlas mountains.
About two thirds of the way through, if I am feeling strong, I am going to cross over to Justin Bateman’s 50km ultra plan . I really like the look of it and that will propel me through Uganda and then onto some real challenges in the second part of the year.
For my cross-training, I am getting back on my bike. There is a fantastic Etape in Morocco, which I really want to have a go at. That is my incentive. As always, I will be doing core training with Cor De Jonge twice a week, and I keep vowing to do yoga, I really do…..
Planning is all very well, especially when the new year is fresh. It is sticking to it that is the key, and that is really my big ambition for this part of the year: Discipline and Consistency. Two words that I admire but find it very hard to practise.
Wish me luck!
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