Where am I running to?

I’ve been talking about my injury and marathon recovery for the last four weeks…I guess I should I consolidate my thoughts and figure out what I’m doing with my running.  I don’t know where I want to take my running in the next month or even the rest of 2015.

Phoenix Marathon

It’s not a secret I’m getting married in a couple of weeks.  While I’m not stressed about it, I’m not planning to “train” for anything before then.  A two week training cycle makes no sense and I’m not going to stick to any set routine or plan before the wedding.  Why on Earth would I rush to train for a race before (or even just after) the wedding?  Plus duh, I’m still working on that small injury.

After the wedding I’ll be going on a honeymoon.  I won’t really be training for anything then either.  I won’t be training, blogging or doing a whole heck of a lot.  Yes I will still run and workout…but will it count?  Anything without internet proof never happened…

In reality, if I’m healthy I won’t begin any plan or routine until early May.  I don’t have an exact plan, routine or schedule since I have a lot going on in the next month,  There is a lot of uncertainty before May.  Will I be healthy?   I would like to think I’ll be healthy before the wedding but that would be a wedding miracle.

So hypothetically after getting back from my honeymoon, I would like to begin running shorter distances in May, June and July.  I haven’t run many 5ks for the last two years.  I had planned to run more last year but after a slight case of plantar fasciitis last summer,  I wasn’t running at all.

I would love to win another piece of log to decorate my house with.  That was my fastest 5k of the year...

I would love to win another piece of log to decorate my house with. That was my fastest 5k of the year…

I’ve been thinking a lot about my training lately.  What I’m doing is no longer working.  I’ve been been on/off injured the last year.

Is that from being inconsistent?

Is it from running high mileage and it wearing on my body? 

Is it from poor recovery or burning the candle on both ends with wedding planning, life, work and running? 

Is it from focusing on longer races versus shorter races?

I’ve always said races are my “speed work” but lately I haven’t been doing a lot of road races.  I went from running 2-3 each month in 2013, to running 1-2 longer races each month.  That is a drastic change.  I’m not sticking to the very core of my original training.

I guess I can say this about my training:

My major goal is to get healthy.  I’m not going to train for anything until I’m 100% healthy.  I would like to focus on shorter distances this summer and improve my turnover.  Perhaps next fall I’ll work on training for a half or even another full marathon.   The cliff notes version is:

1. Get married and get healthy (injury free).

2. Train for shorter races for a few months

3. Run longer races next fall

Questions for you:

How many races do you do each month?

What are your training plans for the spring and summer? 



31 responses

  1. I’m in a similar boat! Not that I’m getting married (done that!) but that I’m still trying to figure out what’s next for me running wise. I have a half marathon in May I’m training for now, and while I love halfs, i’d love to get faster in shorter (5k-10k) distances. I find it’s hard to train for a half while also improve my speed on short distances, so I’ll have to focus!

  2. You know, I’m thinking about this myself. I don’t have any goal races coming up. We have a lot of 5K series here in the summer I plan to run, but I can run a 5K already and I won’t PR anything when it’s 80+ degrees outside in SC. I just plan to run a lot of base building miles for the next month (we don’t even have many 5Ks here in April). I hope everything goes well with the wedding and honeymoon and your pain-in-the-butt gets healed up. It’s smart not to think about racing and running right now, it will be there when you are not as busy with other life things and when your issue/injury gets better :).

  3. I think that the most important thing is that you realize that what you are doing isn’t working. I have seen others in your position curse ‘bad luck’ or seek to blame pretty much anything else … but ultimately the truth comes back to:

    If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.

  4. I think that you had a really big year last year, with injury, recovery, and going into a big race. That’s a lot to come down from. But I’m with you on the shorter races! I try to race once a month (and that’s a new thing — I didn’t do that when I lived in Texas) leading up to a bigger race (helloooooooooo, 70.3 in October). It’s the post-A race stuff that I really need to focus on.

  5. I am hardly the person to give advice about running or injuries as I’ve suffered from a fair few injuries myself. However what I will say is that since I’ve incorporated more strength training to my weekly routine (squats, sing leg work, deadlifts, core work) I’m running more strong and haven’t had any issues. It’s actually been the longest stretch in ages where I haven’t been injured (*TOUCH WOOD*). Just a thought as I never hear you mention much about strength work (not that I’m at all criticising you! You run far better than me!)
    I also used to race a lot, like every month. But now I focus on the races I’m really keen on and work towards them. For this year I have two races in the horizon (a half in May and a full in June). I’m not even doing 10ks to tick over. To me it’s all about putting my sights on one thing at a time, with enough space between to recover.

  6. Running is a lifetime sport. Getting married and going on your honeymoon is a chance to set that aside while you are recovering and enjoy those things that balance out your life. Once you are back to training, you know my novice advice was to focus a plan on quality vs. quantity mileage. You’ve got a long running career ahead of you.

    As for your questions…I don’t race that much. I just ran two half marathons in February, the second one after being sick for two weeks. (ugh) Now, I am building my base back up with progressive mileage increases and tempo/speedwork and won’t race again until May (the Colfax Half Marathon and the BolderBoulder 10k). Come June, it’s all about training for the Twin Cities Marathon in October. I don’t plan any races in there, with the exception of a possible August half.

  7. I used to race all the time. Only half and full marathons though. I’d do two fulls a year and about 3 halfs. Now I don’t race at all! I love running too much to have to take a break post-race to recover. Those shorter distances are TOUGH. I’d almost rather just settle into a slow pace for 50 miles than run hard for 5.

  8. The poor fact of the matter is that we’re getting older and things that once worked for our bodies just won’t always work anymore. I never had issues with my knee while I was consistently doing heavy squats. It’s been a LONG time since I’ve done really heavy leg work and now my knees are always bothering me (although, they used to bother me in gymnastics all the time when I was 10, so maybe my knees just suck). I seem to need longer to recover. Things change. Training plans will always have to be altered as time goes on. But I think reassessing the situation after all of your wedding stuff is done is a good idea. It’s way too busy getting married already!

  9. I don’t have a set number of races each month and actually right now I am doing a lot more racing than I normally do. My plan was to do shorter races this spring and focus on 1 half marathon…that one half marathon has turned into 3 :/…..then I have my goal fall marathon in November and I may throw in a half as a training race gearing up to the full (that worked for me last fall). I did one race this month and I have 2 next month (a half and a 5k), and 2 1/2’s in May. I usually don’t race in the winter…from Nov till March.
    You have a lot going on with the wedding and all so reassessing is good…and work on staying injury free 🙂

    • Thank you for your support! If I remember right, I enjoyed a few months before beginning to train for NYCM a couple of years ago too 🙂

  10. It’s tough to take a step back and take an objective look at your training–and figure out what works, what doesn’t, etc. And taking some time away from official structured plans (and getting married!) will give you a chance to further reflect on it too. I’m doing five triathlons this summer, which seems to be my racing “sweet spot.” I’ll peak at just one, and the rest will be check-in/tune-ups for Nationals. I’ll probably do some road races for fun too. 🙂

  11. Sounds like your taking a step back and really reviewing your running. that’s great to do, and a great idea to focus on your health first.
    I don’t do that many races a year.. I hope to increase that. But because of a budget I tend to stick to only a couple a year.. hopefully I’ll be able to bump that up soon.

  12. The first year I started running I ran at least 30 5Ks. I just love them so much! Now, I’m not running nearly as many because I’m running “smart” and focusing on racing well instead of just racing. Ideally, racing a 5K every other week works best for me. This winter was so hard though so I only raced every 4-6 weeks. I really hope we can run a 5K together soon!

  13. I usually only race once every 2 months, about 6 per year with more usually in the summer/fall typically.

    I think I am going to change my training approach this summer… not sure exactly what that will be but a friend suggested the Jack Daniels method… focus more on speed work and tempo runs this time around… and more outdoor miles… I ran too many miles on the treadmill this winter and I think that really hurt me in the Shamrock marathon.

  14. i think it’s great that you’re taking a training break for your wedding and honeymoon. I definitely did – I took about 4 months away from any serious training to enjoy wedding planning and also focus on strength training for my wedding dress! 🙂 I didn’t regret it. Enjoy these last few weeks!

  15. Sounds like a perfect plan and you have the perfect time to relax a bit and work out that injury. I’m sure after the wedding and honeymoon you will be rested and ready to get back into the racing game. For now? Enjoy the rest!

  16. I’m already looking ahead to training for nyc marathon in the fall, nothing before then! I think it’s normal and healthy to focus on other things in your life as they’re happening, you’re getting married and that’s a huge life event!

  17. My ultimate plans are also just to get healthy. I don’t really care to run any races and come out first. I do everything I do to have fun and take care of my body. I can’t believe it’s already almost time for your wedding! That was fast!

  18. After a year with different running ailments I finally caved and seeked help. I am working with the triathlon coach at Binghamton University. He did a video analysis of me and there he discovered a major flaw in my running form. For the past 2 1/2 years I’ve been running with my legs fully extended, knees locked and my heel striking at almost a 90 degree angle. Basically there is no shock absorption so it has taken its toll on my hip flexors, glutes, hams and calfs. Right now he has me doing muscle memory exercises to teach my legs to drop closer to alignment with my hips. I’m running short and slow mileage with focus on form. So I guess I can say I am relearning to run, so that is what I’m running for.

      • Frustrating beyond belief! Although not the magic bullet, it so far has helped with my calfs, hip flexors and IT’s. My piriformis is a totally different animal I think. But maybe with a different running style and PT it will eventually get better. I’ve also introduced swimming into my routine recently so in reality I am in the beginning stages of training for a half ironman in 2016.

  19. I really hope this damn hip pain goes away. It’s so frustrating when something is just lingering without an obvious rhyme or reason. Fingers crossed for you!

  20. I love the community around racing. I don’t always try to run my fastest race because it’s the atmosphere I love. I think if I did that, I would get burned out more often. I also like to do trail races, which are slower and allow for a faster recovery. Trails are my plans for Spring and summer. Do you do trail races?

  21. Sounds like a solid plan to me. I think the break in higher mileage will be good for you, plus you get to work on speed for shorter races, which is always fun. Then hit up a fall longer race and crush it! (I’ll be at Wineglass, just saying).

  22. Yeah… I’d say you have a few things going on this month 🙂

    Anyone who trains for a marathon in the Summer absolutely amazes me!
    Even though I am from Florida, my body freaks out in the heat. My times drop and anything longer than 10 miles seems daunting.

    Good luck with your plan, fingers crossed for your injury recovery!!!

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