Training this year has been focused on getting ready for my second marathon (Disney World Marathon, January 7, 2018). It was necessary for me to start from the ground up in January because I was coming off a significant break from running. I signed up for a half marathon in March to keep myself focused and give myself a chance to check in on my fitness. I started the year with an 11.5 mile week and built my way up to 32 mpw during that first training block (Base Building, Round 1). I consider the race to have been a success, 1:46, just 4 minutes off my PR.
I struggled to stay consistent in April while I dealt with finishing up my first year of grad school. When classes ended I jumped in 110% and brought on a round of minor aches and pains. I adjusted my plan and started Base Building, Round 2. I started May with 29 mpw and built my way up to 48 mpw. Last week was a cutback week because 48 miles left me feeling pretty worn down. I think 40-45 miles would be a comfortable training level for me right now.
Instead of continuing to build, I think I would benefit from spending a few months maintaining this volume (and maybe just a tiny bit of building to get up to the 50 mpw range). I am targeting a September half marathon as another chance to check in on my fitness. Additionally, RunDisney requires proof of time from a recent race for corral placement. Since I am still fantasizing about a slightly-non-realistic-goal of running a BQ (and making the cut off), I’d really like to break 1:40 in September so I can be in the same corral as the 3:30 pace group (based on previous years’ placements).
My plan is to begin incorporating two workouts per week: a mid-week speed/strength work out and by adding extra quality to my long runs through the addition of goal pace miles. My hope is that by maintaining my training volume I will be able to handle the increase in intensity without too much trouble. I will have 8 weeks to sharpen my racing legs and one week to taper for the race. It has been a full year since I set my sights on a new PR and I am really excited to get back to work!