This past week with the dawn of spring and milder temperatures on the horizon I decided to move my training from the ease of controlled pace, limited inclines, and comfortable conditions on the treadmill in the basement to the rural road and the reality of spring potholes, rough gravel, uneven pavement, melting ice, snow, and wind. My first outdoor 4-miler of 2017 is in the books with a time of 46:04 and I am quite happy with this because I didn’t push myself and I didn’t need a walking break – even on the hills.
During my winter training sessions on the treadmill I have gradually improved my endurance by doing 3 or 4 mile runs at least three times a week. Additionally, without focussing on time, I have lowered my pace from over 12 minutes per mile to slightly under 11 minutes. In April, I am planning on increasing my long run to 5 miles and doing 4 miles on the other days. I would also like to improve my pace, but at this point my main focus will remain on endurance.
In other news, this little deer has been hanging out in my backyard for a week or so and this is a solid sign that spring is here.
I am going to sign up for the Miramichi Rock ‘n Roll 10K on June 25, so I have approximately 3 months to get ready.
This past year running took a backseat to work and life in general. Some days I was focused and motivated to exercise, but other days I found a million excuses not to workout. Luckily, my jobs involved a lot of physical labour and my weight remained constant in spite of not following a regular exercise program. I completely ignored this blog and rarely tracked my running distance or progress. I didn’t sign up for any events which also contributed to my limited interest in running.
This year I am taking a new approach to training and exercise. I would like to enjoy running while incorporating some specific goals for 2017. My first goal is to run a distance of 5 miles (8km) without walking breaks. Now, I am able to run 5K. However, after a year of limited training I am extremely slow. I am like a snail, so time goals at this point would lead me down the path to complete failure. This must be avoided! Thus, I am going to concentrate on building up endurance and when I can cover 5 miles I might consider incorporating some speed-training.
My second goal is to enter two 10K races this year. At this point, I have no idea when or where – to be decided in the near future.
My third goal is to actively track my progress via this blog. My intention is to post my running data and thoughts at least twice a month. I did my last run of 2016 this morning – a slow, comfortable 3 miles in 36:31 – this will be my starting point for 2017.
These three simple running goals are intended to help me stay motivated and focused on running. In order to achieve these goals I have to be extremely dedicated, unwavering and prepared to make running play an important part of my life by setting aside enough time for consistent and quality training in 2017.
With about three weeks to go before returning to Canada for summer vacation, my mind is on the New Brunswick Day 10K Road Race in Chipman, New Brunswick. In previous years, I have taken part in the 5K event but to celebrate three years of running and the 25th anniversary of the event I am participating in the 10K race this year.
Two weeks ago, I started preparing by following a new 8 Week 10K training Plan that I developed based on time rather than distance. Running in the scorching heat in Oman is almost impossible, so in order to deal with this, I scheduled some walking pauses and gradually increased the running intervals hoping that this will get me ready for running in Canada. Additionally, as the running intervals increase, the walking pauses become shorter, as can be seen in the plan below.
For the first four and a half weeks my cross training will be 40 minutes of swimming at the Golden Tulip pool. I usually go directly after work before the families with children arrive so that I have the pool to myself. When I return to Canada this will be replaced with 40 to 60 minutes of biking on the trails near my home which I will share with the local wildlife.
In my last 10K race I finished in 1:06:46, but is was actually 10.3K, so with 300 meters less to run in Chipman my goal is to finish in less that 1 hour and 5 minutes.