In 2018, I had one big time goal that dictated my smaller goals. A sub-1:35 half marathon was within my abilities if I trained hard, and so I did. I ran a sub-1:35 half in May 2018;
Then, in the second half of 2018, I ran less. We moved cross-country from the Seattle area to Northwest Indiana. I broke my third metatarsal. In December, I started virtually from scratch with short run-walk intervals.
I learned (and relearned) valuable lessons about my training and how my body responds to the stress-adaptation cycle in 2018. From what I learned, I outlined a few training intentions for 2019. No time goals or mileage goals this year for me; rather, a few intentions to shape my running into an enjoyable, successful, and injury-free year.
Run off-road more.
I enjoyed the trails in Washington except for the time it took to drive to them. Most of the trails were technical, with roots and rocks and lung-busting climbs.
Surprisingly enough, there is no shortage of trails here, with multiple large city parks and close proximity to the Indiana State Dunes. Most are wide dirt trails or grass fields and something about that appeals to me. Plus, trails reduce impact and introduce variety – exactly what I need after my fracture.
If enough snow ever falls, I’d love to snowshoe run this year. I spent a few years watching others snowshoe run on Instagram and yearning to do it myself. Typically, we have 3 or 4 feet of snow on average each year, so hopefully I can try this soon!
Prehab, prehab, and prehab some more.
I have weak feet and tight calves, as indicated by my history of foot sprains, plantar fasciitis, and a metatarsal fracture. If I’m not diligent about hip strength, my right IT band makes me aware of its presence. One of my intentions in 2019 is to consistently – at least three times per week – doing the “boring” exercises. Foot flexions, inversions, and eversions with the mini band, calf raises, banded walks, clamshells, and all of those vital exercises that can get easily skipped over.
I also need to foam roll more consistently and frequently. Don’t we all say that?
Embrace training by time.
Injury can shift your perspective. I used to be the type of runner who would run back and forth in the neighborhood to hit x.00 miles exactly. That’s a slippery slope of perfectionism – and it is necessary to acknowledge that perfectionists are injured more often.
My intention is to train by time more in 2019. I love time-based intervals both for myself and for my coaching, like 5 x 3 minutes hard or 3 x 10 minutes tempo. Since I enjoy time-based hard workouts so much, I plan on shifting to time-based easy runs (45 minutes vs 5 miles, etc).
My hope is that time-based easy runs teach me to listen to my body more. If I go out for 40-50 minutes easy, there’s no pressure of hitting exact mileage that day.
To implement that goal, I’ve changed my Garmin display settings. Since I started running again after my injury, my main screen only displays time and distance. I may remove distance since I find my brain is a little too good at math on a run.
Race a variety of distances.
While I love the half marathon distance, there is something alluring about the “shorter” long distance races. So far this year, I have signed up for a 6K trail race and a 10K road race. I have my sights set on some 5Ks and a 5-mile race as well. I enjoy the training of shorter races and the unique challenge that comes with racing them.
I also signed up for a marathon in November! Of course, at my state in life now, there is always the contingency of pregnancy. Thankfully, Indianapolis Monumental permits deferral for pregnancy or injury, so I signed up.
My intention for 2019 races is simple: train smart, race as hard as I can, and enjoy the process. I don’t just want to race for a finish time; I want to push my limits, embrace the suffering of racing, and find that reward that comes from giving every single ounce of effort I have.
In short, I want to train smart, race hard, and take care of my body so I can do both of those.
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What are your goals or intentions for 2019?