Still in the first week of the year and I’m already writing a second blog. By my math, that makes this month about 10 000 times more productive than the previous half year at least in terms of writing.

In my last post, I reviewed 2015 so in keeping with that theme I’ve decided to put some thoughts down on what I hope to accomplish in 2016. I am going to attempt to be coherent, but let’s be honest here – it isn’t always my strong point. I’m going to embrace my tendency towards stream of consciousness and distractibility and

doug-up-squirrel

 

Smaller Number of Races, Bigger Goals

 Last year the vast majority of the events I signed up for were done so with the end goal of Toronto in mind and 2016 will be a very similar year. Some races will be testing how the training is going and others will be treated as specific workouts but all in all, there won’t be a large number of bibs and medals come December.

Maybe once my biggest goal of getting to Boston is met, I will start doing more events for the sake of doing them but having a sharper focus has made a significant difference on my results and progress. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

As of now, I am doing the Hypo Half in February (for fun – and by fun, I mean the brunch), strongly considering the Lorneville Loop again in April, Fredericton Half in May, another half in August TBD and then Toronto again in October.

 

More Miles, Lots at Tempo – and (eek) Speedwork

I haven’t really set a mileage goal with any determination or seriousness prior to this year. I’ve followed a more “isn’t this a nice round number” way of thinking without examining what it really meant in terms of dedication and commitment.

I’ve still set a round number, but I did it more as a result of thinking what I would like to achieve. My goal is to finish the year with at least 3000 km. This is factoring in my main race goals (to be covered shortly), some rest weeks, etc etc.

In 2015, I ran a lot of my mileage at or near my goal marathon pace of 4:59/km. Even runs that were not fully at that pace tended to have sections within at that pace as I really wanted my legs to be familiar with and comfortable at that speed regardless of how tired they were. A similar approach regarding my goal pace this year just seems to make sense to me.

Knowing that I got under 3:30 in Toronto but knowing that each minute faster is going to be tougher and tougher, I know I will have to start implementing more speed workouts into my routine. I have shied away from speedwork in the past – for fear of injury and even just plain old reluctance to do it. I realize that I can’t avoid it any longer if I really am serious about getting to Boston in the next couple of years and I finally feel as though I have a solid enough foundation to work in more speed. Even with no track to speak of in Sackville, I can find places to do the appropriate workouts and there is no avoiding them – they just have to happen.

 

Time Goals

I have two main time goals this year and they are related in that if I can achieve the first one, the second one seems a lot more possible.

The first goal I’ve set for myself is a 1:35 half marathon. I’m hopeful of achieving this in May in Fredericton. It’s a flat course and one that I’m familiar with – both factors which should help me in chasing down a solid PB.

The second and much scarier goal for me is to shave several more minutes off of my marathon PB and take it down to 3:15 in Toronto in October. Once again, this is a big stretch for me, but I was really motivated by setting the bar high last year, so maybe this is what I need.

3:15 is my BQ time but even if I am able to hit my goal, I don’t expect it to be under enough to actually get me into Boston – and I’m ok with this. I am thinking of the time as just that – a very challenging, but attainable goal and nothing more. 2015 showed me that training for a full doesn’t have to feel as monotonous and mind numbing as I have found it to be in the past. The miles themselves are their own reward and anything else is really just the cherry on top.

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