I was thinking today, surprisingly enough, while running. Oh, you know, it happens sometimes. Besides, my running these days isn’t intense enough to warrant moment to moment focus on my form and next steps. I’ve got spare bandwidth for other random thoughts.
One of the not-so-random ideas I was mulling over was run related goal setting. Yes, I hear you. Why can’t I just go out and have fun with it and not be tracking to some sort of milestone? Because it’s more fun to reach toward a goal and I can’t help myself. It’s just what I do when I feel ready.
What made me feel ready to start setting standards is my unplanned 4-day-in-a-row running spree I just wrapped up today. Now you runner types may scoff and snicker at that stat, but I’m not one of you injury resistant, wiry legged, 25 miles is a light week people. Twenty five miles is a solid week for me, even at peak fitness. The most I’ve run in a week was 60 and that was so amazingly slow, I’m being generous calling it running. And never mind being able to back that up with another big week. There’s no way. I would break.
But today I noticed that I don’t feel like I’m even close to breaking from the 22 miles I’ve trotted off since Monday. Maybe it was the Taum Sayers session on Sunday, or maybe it’s because I’ve built up gradually and smartly (for a change). Also, not having any races on the foreseeable horizon, there’s no pressure to hit the speed or go long. I think that’s a good thing.
So here’s my game plan. No runs appreciably longer than 1 hour. If I chart off a course intended to take an hour and I roll in a minute or two longer than that– no worries– but nothing purposely longer. No speed work and no tempo. I will run comfortably but not bother with heartrate zones because that would be annoying to deal with. Some days will be quicker than others, but nothing will be fast.
By following these rules, I would like to build up to the ability to run about an hour a day, every day, sustainably and without breaking down. I don’t expect to even be able to approach that before the end of the year. Maybe later than that. Doesn’t matter. Once I’m able to do that, I’d like to keep up that schedule for several weeks before adding more. This coming season, without it’s aggressive racing schedule and self-pressured goals, is a great opportunity to really build my aerobic run base. Maybe I could turn into one of you running types. How cool would that be?