On my super-duper long four mile run this morning, I was thinking about this training season and what some of my strengths were. I feel like for this race, I focused on being disciplined in my training. Generally I do a pretty good job of running when the plan says to run, but I’m happy with the effort that I put into this training season as well. Definitely an A for effort.
I think part of it is from running Chicago, which was in October — meaning that I jumped right in to the training plan only a few weeks later. I feel like my fitness level was high, which made a big difference from training I’ve done in the past.
Some of the highlights:
1. I’m really happy with my long runs. I feel like the majority of my long runs were successful… I didn’t have any of those runs where I completely fell apart. I hope this isn’t a sign that that is still to come… I think, though, this is because of coming right off Chicago. My body didn’t have to build itself up again, it was like, “here we go again…”
2. I actually did cross-training… and worked at it. I suck at cross-training. I think most runners can say that. Once I get done with my run (which is pretty much a full body workout in itself), I am ready to shower and do something else. This training season I focused on switching between an arm workout and an ab workout. While my planking isn’t as awesome as my friend Carrisa at G-Free Runner, I feel like I’ve made some definite improvements. Same with my arms… can you believe that when I first starting this training plan, I could do a max of six push ups in a row? Yeah it’s OK to laugh… Now I’m up to 20, and while that may not seem like a lot to many people, that is a huge deal for me.
3. I stepped it up during the week. Since moving to New York, my schedule has gotten crazy. New Yorkers work longer, which means my schedule is squeezed. I used to be an after-work runner, but had to quickly convert to early mornings… which I am not a morning person. I feel like — after about a year of AM running — I finally feel OK getting up at 6 a.m. I still have my mornings (on these days, I’m pretty sure my glares do kill, so watch out), but for the most part, I have enough energy in the morning to at least hold a semi-conversation with my fiance (big improvement). I extended my runs during the week for this training plan — instead of doing four or five miles, I focused on doing seven or eight miles.
I think those are the major elements, and I am proud of how focused I was during this training season. Not to jump the gun, but I already have some goals set for the next training season — for the Boston Marathon — and can’t wait to continue to improve my fitness and my running.
Do you try to improve yourself with each training season? What are some of your biggest improvements between races?