With a number of injuries from running this year, I have decided to focus on building a better base this winter so that I can hopefully train hard next season without falling apart. I have now wrapped up four weeks of my base building schedule, and I’m already starting to see some gains. The focus of the program that I’m using is to keep my heart rate low (65% of maximum heart rate) with the goal of getting more miles under my legs without their getting too fatigued, which would ultimately lead to more injuries. For the first couple of weeks I had to run really slowly to keep my heart rate in the desired range. It was pretty tough mentally watching people go by me on the path who I “knew” I could beat, but I just kept reminding myself of the end goal to be injury free. Over the past two weeks I’ve started to see some good progression where I am still keeping my heart rate in the right zone, but I’m running 1 – 2 minutes per mile faster. I’m still not back to the pace that I felt was “easy” during the season, but it is just the kind of early positive feedback that I needed to stick with the program. One benefit of these workouts is that, combined with visits to see Brian at Philamassages, I have not really experienced any significant lingering soreness from the runs. I’m also putting in as many if not more miles per week than I was able to consistently throughout the season.
My plan is to keep going with this training regimen for the next month or two, with very gradual increases in weekly mileage. This should allow me to build a decent base and get my legs used to running more often. While we already celebrated our wedding in Philadelphia back in September, Alexis and I will be doing it all over again in Canberra, Australia in a couple of weeks. This will allow some more of my Australian friends and family to be able to share this special time in our lives with us. It will be interesting to see how things go from a training perspective while we’re in Australia, but I’m expecting to be able to still do most of the planned workouts.
The nice thing at this stage is that focusing just on running doesn’t feel at all like a chore. Rather it is exciting knowing that the work I do now is only going to make me better for next year. I’ll slowly start incorporating some swimming and biking over the coming months as well, but I want to make sure that I take the end of this year to really enjoy myself and rekindle some friendships that moved to the sidelines a little bit during the season. While it will probably still be a little chilly to get in any open water swimming while we’re in Australia, Alexis and I are planning to kick start our return to swimming with daily morning swims from our over water bungalow on Bora Bora as part of kicking back and enjoying a second summer with some much needed down time on our honeymoon.
Have fun out there,