Run Less, Run Faster?

I’ve had the book, “Run Less, Run Faster,” on my Amazon wish list for a while. But, recently a fellow Team Nuun member mentioned it in an online group and inspired me to go check it out at our local library. The basic idea is that you run 3x a week, and cross-train 2x a week. But, each workout has a very specific purpose. Your runs are track repeats, a tempo run, and a long run. And if you’re cycling for your cross-training like I do, you’re not just riding one pace the entire ride. The book lays out what each week would look like for each workout. I’ve done that schedule quite a bit, but my workouts were often times not ‘purpose driven’. It was more so about putting in the time/miles. I had a great personal record breaking year in 2015, but after reading this book a bit it has me re-evaluating my training. What could I accomplish in 2016 following the FIRST training plan (Furman Institute of Running and Scientific Training)?  

I’m a little bummed I don’t have many more weeks of training left before my first race of the year (a half), because I’d love to fully follow the FIRST plan. That being said, I am likely going to be following the marathon plan for my second this fall, and modifying the half plan for the 25k I’m doing. I originally was going to go with one of the Hal Higdon plans, as I’ve taken those (and modified) in the past. When I say I modified, I cut a run and added a cross-train day instead. So, I’m already leaning more towards FIRST as I know my legs feel stronger doing 3 runs a week vs. 4+. I just need to change each workout to have a purpose like the book explains. Long story short, I’m definitely buying the book to keep as a reference for the training plans. I haven’t even finished the book, but it’s already totally inspired me and has me pumped for my long run on Friday!

What training programs have you used? What have you found works best for you? One thing is for sure, there is not a one-size-fits-all plan out there. Everyone is different. Everyone’s bodies will respond differently to a training plan. It sure is interesting hearing about how other athletes train though!

2015 Review + 2016 Race Schedule and Goals

 I hope you all had a great time celebrating the new year! We had some fun at a New Years Eve party at a ski club with my cousins. We hiked up one of the biggest hills after toasting to the new year. Such a fun way to start 2016!

What a great year 2015 was! We sure packed a lot of amazing memories into the year. Lots of happy racing memories and a few tears too (although, they  were mostly happy tears). The end of 2014 I made some goals for the new year. They were….

I’m so proud to say I did finish both the marathon and sprint tri! They were both such different experiences. Not going to re-hash all those details, but they both pushed me to want to experience them again.

The run streak sadly ended prematurely. I was having some shin pain and was afraid it would get worse with daily runs. I now believe it was just my shoes being on their way out. I like to cross train in between runs, and I can tell if I’ve run a few days in a row. So, it probably wasn’t a great goal for me to begin with. It just sounded like a fun idea at the time 😉. Kuddos to those that participate in those run streaks! You’re amazing!

I did fall shy of 800 miles this year, getting to 772 miles. Very proud of the miles I reached though. Facing a few injuries and illness, getting to that point is something I’m still proud of. Especially considering it was still an increase in miles from last year’s 614 mile total.

Other than those goals, I set PR’s in every race I ran this year! That is something I did not see happening. But, it was a great reminder that hard work DOES pay off.

So, technically I only met 50% of my goals but I’m really not upset by that. It was an incredible year!

Looking Ahead….

2016 is going to be a big year for my family and I! We’ll finally be building on the beautiful property near the lakeshore that we bought in 2013. This past year was exciting as we’ve been finalizing our floor plan and so many details in hopes building will go smoothly when we break ground in the spring (yay!!). I’ll probably be sharing a bit about our build throughout the process too.

future homesite

With that being said, I had to put some races on hold. I cut out a spring half marathon and a fall 10 miler. I’d like to do them both at some point, but 2016 just isn’t the year for them. I know for sure I want to do another Tri, but cut that as well. I thought for sure a 70.3 would be on my 2016 calendar, but due to an issue with pool access and how much I realistically can handle during this busy year I decided to wait. I’m hopeful 2017 will be my year to return to the Tri world :). Once we move, I’ll have my pool access back and life should return to normal.

2016 Race Schedule & Goals:

  • February – Half Marathon
    • Goal 1: Break 2:18:31 (PR)
    • Goal 2: Break 2:10:47 (9:59 pace)
    • Goal 3: Break: 2:08:49 (9:50 pace)
  • May – 25k
    • Goal 1: Break 2:52:03 (PR)
    • Goal 2: Break 2:38:52 (10:15 pace)
    • Goal 3: Break 2:33:42 (9:55 pace)
  • July – 10k
    • Goal: Have fun & survive – This is a race that involves climbing 2 sand dunes. I won free race registration to this race for renaming the event. I don’t want to hurt myself trying to be fast. It’ll just be for fun 🙂
  • September – 8 mile
    • Goal 1: Break 1:17:57 (PR)
    • Goal 2: Break 1:17:12 (9:39 pace)
  • October – Full marathon
    • Goal #1: Break 5:50:03 (PR)
    • Goal #2: Break 5:00 (11:27 pace)
    • Goal #3: Break 4:45 (10:52 pace)

I am SO ready for that full marathon. I need to redeem myself from my first in April, and I can’t wait to run it with my husband! I’m proud I finished the Country Music Marathon, but it was just not the race I had envisioned. And I learned from it. I know that I cannot just count on the few sips of water at the water stations. I will be wearing a hydration belt, that I just received for Christmas, and I’ll be filling the bottles with Nuun. Now I’m armed with so much determination to achieve my goal!

Yes, cutting 50+ minutes off my marathon time seems crazy. But, I’m looking at how different the courses are and how much stronger I am today in setting that goal. I don’t think I’m crazy ;). Just determined!

Other Goals:

  • Lift weights at least 2x a week
  • Continue to run 3x a week
  • Continue to bike 1-2x a week

Other than the time goals for the marathon, the other goals listed above, and finishing all races, I really just want to have a fun and healthy year with minimal injuries. Bring on the fun (and hard work!).

Do you set fitness goals each year? Did you achieve them in 2015? What distance races are you planning on this year? Any other specific goals you want to reach?