As you know by now, my relationship with running in the past year was a bit strained. Every time I tried to jump start a training plan, my heart just wasn’t into it. Running became recreational and races were rarely ran at race pace effort.
This year, I am mixing it up. I am making racing special, limiting it to only 4 races for the entire year. That’s one per quarter, and nothing longer than a half marathon. My objective is to make the time I spend running, purposeful and not just a way to keep up with the cool kids are doing. My hope is this will allow me time to balance my personal time with other things I love. (like cowbelling alllllll the races)
So, here I go....time to train for race #1…Carlsbad 5000 on March 26th. Yep, you read correctly a 5k. I am leaving the long runs for a while and refocusing this spring on speed and strength. This type of training scares and excites me all at the same time. I love the feeling a pushing my fitness to get stronger, but running fast is way out of my comfort zone.
I’ve spent the last few weeks reconnecting with speed work, some days it’s great and some days the connection feels very distant. I have to be honest; it’s been pretty eye opening. I have realized my running pace had become comfortable, almost complacent. As I work through the speed sessions, the movement in my legs feels confusing; not just an uncomfortable threshold, but a consistent flow that is hard to find.
I am reconnecting with what hard work feels like, and I have to admit I kind of like it. It’s almost fun to push a little harder, and a little farther with each workout. However, as a master’s runner, I quickly realized I can’t push as fast as I used to. My breath leaves me quickly, my legs feel like lead more often and I run hotter than ever before.
Want to know a secret? The differences to what my body now brings to the track, excites me. I want to experience how purposeful fueling, hydrating and recovering will help me gain strength, form and a flow of breath. I am looking forward to trying the masters training tips I have recently learned to see how my body responds.
I'm determined to make my 5k training a fun journey, and will remind my self of that purpose on the hard days. I would love to set a goal to break 25 minutes in the race, however a more realistic goal is breaking 26 minutes. I'm headed into the meat of the training and I hope you will follow along. Seven weeks to go, as I train to get faster as a master. Each week I'll share how I'm training, what works, what doesn’t and what hurts.
Let’s make running fun again.