Rebuilding Training Plan Winter 2015-16 for spring 2016 races

Alrighty – so if you have been following along on the blog my running has taken a major beating in the past 10 months or so. 2014 was brilliant for me, having run 1971 miles in total and broken both my half and full marathon PRs as well as running my first ultra.

But after the 2015 Dopey Challenge my running kind of fell apart. My training was definitely trailing off and then I got sick and had some pretty rough runs. I still wasn’t training well but managed to run another ultra at the beginning of October (breaking 50 miles for the first time). Near the end of October I ran my slowest race half marathon in years.

Through a combination of factors, my weight has jumped up as well.

All that combined means I need to get back in a groove of training properly and getting my endurance and speed back up, and getting my weight back down.

The plan is to fix up my diet (going back to the high protein breakfast plan I was on back in 2012 when I started this blog) and get back to running regularly…and getting more sleep, which may be the true key to this whole deal.

I had thought about going back to a generic running plan such as the Hal Higdon plans but the timing of the various run types don’t fit for the various family responsibilities I have going on, so I need to adapt to a schedule that will fit for me.

I can also still do very good distance (just not as quickly as I used to) and I don’t want to back off too far on the longer distance runs and lose that ability.

My running goals for the spring are to get back down to the range of my half marathon PR of 1:46 (and hopefully beat it) and to finally break a 4 hour marathon.

So, I looked at various nearby races in the spring / early summer that I could use as the races to achieve my goals at.

The Winnipeg Police Services half on May 1st is the obvious choice for the half – it is the race I set my current PR on and I know the course well – this one is pretty much a no-brainer.

Spruce Woods Ultra on May 6th/7th – many options here including trail 100 mile, 100k, 50 mile, 50k and full races. I suspect I won’t be able to break my marathon PR on a trail course so the question ends up being do I do anything here at all? A huge part of me wants to test myself on something like this, so I need to at least put the mileage in the plan so that if I do decide I am crazy enough I will at least be trained.

Fargo Marathon on May 21st – I haven’t done this race even though it is only 3-4 hours drive from here, which is too bad really. It is supposed to be a great flat race and takes place early enough in the season that heat shouldn’t be a negative factor. I am really leaning toward this one but if I do succumb to the crazy and do something at the Spruce Woods Ultra, I might not be recovered enough to make the desired times happen. What I do will depend on how well the training goes.

Manitoba Marathon on June 19th – I have a love / hate relationship with this marathon. It is the home town marathon and it is where I set my PR back in 2014 but the weather almost always spanks me in some way at this race. I think I have 5 of these under my belt and everyone of them was too damned hot or it rained (or both). It is a course I know though and it is relatively flat so it should in theory be a PR contender if training is going well – so a backup for Fargo. And if all the crazy lines up between Spruce Woods, Fargo and this race I would finally qualify for Marathon Maniacs making me a Double Agent with my Half Fanatics membership already in the bag.

So I put all those races in the schedule and mapped the training around them.

Runs occur Tues, Wed, Thurs, Sat and Sunday.

Tuesdays – treadmill – mid-length runs at near half marathon PR pace or better – my other schedules would have these on Wednesdays but I had to move them to get enough time due to other family responsibilities.

Wednesdays – treadmill – speed work – 30-40 minutes (can’t start until almost 9 so it has to be over quick if I want to sleep that night)

Thursdays – treadmill – mix of higher incline and speedish work – up to 40-60 minutes

Saturdays – several family responsibilities this day so not very long – starting at approx 40 minutes outside and ramping up (as long as I can get my sleep under control and get up earlier).

Sundays – long slow runs outside (when weather cooperates) – max training run up to 4-6 hours in order to potentially be ready for Spruce Woods Ultra.

And the schedule (a bit aggressive but as long as I am smart I can make it happen in a healthy way):

winter 2015 2016 schedule

winter 2015 2016 schedule