Goals: Decide, Write, Tell, Do
There has been a lot of talk lately about fall race goals. It is the hot topic of the running community right now. On my client roster alone I have several going after some high value fitness targets: 1 training for a full, 2 training for a half, and3 5k runners. Crafting their strength training plans provides a whole knew level of excitement for the fall racing scene.
When it came to my own goals, I had resigned myself to the fact that my fall fitness plan was to simply get…stay healthy. After months of struggling with vertigo, migraines, etc..my priority has been and will be to remain upright, strong, and on the road (literally) to improving. My progress has been going fabulously and frankly, moving along faster than I could have hoped for. Workouts are getting easier, my stamina is growing, and my nutrition and recovery is in check. That leaves me with room for more. I have been pondering what, where, and why I would run this fall. I am enjoying my current strength/cross training schedule and have no plans to decrease short speedy-ish runs, HIIT, and weights. Guess what kind of running compliments that??? As you can imagine, there is some internal dialogue going on and lots to consider.
Saturday morning was approaching and I knew I needed to make the step up from 35+ minute comfort zone. Equally, I knew I was physically ready and I had a plan to prove it to myself. New shoes, new nutrition, new playlist, new watch, and a new strong mindset!
I struggled with where to run my workout Saturday and as mentioned…lots of my own noise going on upstairs. While I missed my teammates, I knew the best option would be solo pavement pounding. It would allow the chance to execute my slow and steady 5 mile plan, without distractions. I needed to practice pacing and narrow down some fall goals.
By 6:30am I was lacing up my shoes. I popped two salt stick chew tabs before heading out the door – looking to combat those pesky side cramps that occurred the last 2 weeks. Even with a proper pre-run warm up, it took me until 1.3 for my body to engage and figure out what was happening. High humidity combined with vacation fatigue I suspect. By mile 2 I knew things were going great. My glutes were on, my breathing was calm! I was steadily chopping my pace one stride at a time. When I reached the halfway point, I felt great and I knew what I needed to do when it came to my own fall running.
I’m a middle distance lover. I was trained that way and love anything from a 5k to a 10 miler. That’s where I need to play. That is where I thrive. Easily race-able, little day of prep, and accessible. Luckily, it’s the season of shorter races because along with most fall half and full marathons, there’s a shorter option on the table for runners like me. No need to force longer distance if my heart isn’t in it. I will start the season with a sort of time trial with the Rock n Roll 5k. Not a spectacular race production, but it is on flat and familiar territory. It also times perfectly to grab a baseline 5k time before true fall.
And because I tell you guys and my clients all the time, I am doing the same when it comes to goals. Write them down, tell them to your tribe, make them real…check the race calendars, register, and set a meeting with my coach…more speed work please 🙂
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