Monday, December 31, 2012

The 2013 Race Plan

I have thought very hard about the year 2013, and because of that I have been unable to post for quite some time.  In addition, I had a rough time a few weeks ago, when I got hit with the flu.  Although I actually only missed 4 days of running, and rebounded pretty well.  But it was a pretty rough sickness, and it has taken another week for myself to get back on track.  These past few days I was up in the mountains of Westchester, NY visiting family.  Running up and down the steep, mountainous hills up there "woke" my legs up a bit.  I hit 78 miles this week, and got my first long run of close to 2 hours since the marathon.  Most of my runs have been slow though.  I have not done any speedwork except a few fartlek intervals.  But it will come back naturally as I get back into the swing of things.  I am also still pool running once a week and will continue to do so-I think it will help my training.

I was quite tired after I finished the Philly Marathon, and quite frankly, I needed some rest.  It was the finish to a 2-year drive-the way I look at it now.  2011 and 2012 were now, as I look back, a long continuous drive of training and racing.  The start of 2011, a 15:26 indoor 5K(a PR at the time), was the spark that drove a string of hard-earned races that followed throughout the next 2 years.  Coming out of 2012, I have shed another layer of skin, with new personal bests in all distances I have raced.  Some are stronger PRs than others, but at the end of the day the way I coach myself and the way I train is all about getting myself better as a whole to my utmost potential.  As I observe my performances, I have developed tremendously in 5K-13.1, but still just moderately in the marathon.  This to me, says something.

In 2011 and 2012, I split each year into 2 parts: the first part(Spring) was concentrating on 13.1 on down to the 5K, and the second part(Fall) was working on 10 miles on up to the Marathon.  This has brought me success and I have PRed in every event doing it this way.  However, my marathon continues to be the weakest(although I have brought my time down to at least a "decent" performance).  What I have been able to do is actually pretty incredible, now that I look at it.  I have been able to race and run personal bests in other events and still be able to run a marathon at the same time, during the same training cycles, and run a decent time.  But now I realize that I have gotten to a level where if I want to run a marathon "on par" with my other current bests, I must concentrate on only 26.2-and not throw in too many "distractions" during the cycle.  The day I do that I will be able to race the marathon up to my ability.

Well, I am not ready to do that right now.  

"Do what works."

I talked to Lucinda's husband, Andy(who trained under Brad Hudson and clocked 13:38 for 5000m during his competitive career) about what races to train for.  He said, "Do what works, Chris.  Do what you're good at right now."  This knocked some sense into me.

I felt an immediate sense of relief when I realized what I wanted to do this year.  It was very much a freeing feeling.  I need to do what works for me right now.  At this time it seems that the right thing to do is to devote a year towards training for nothing longer than 13.1.  If I concentrate on that, I can put ALL my energy into perfecting my current prime range.  I can really go all out now.  Anyone who knows me well knows that if I toe the line with them in a 10K, 10 Mile, or 13.1 Mile race, they best be running very hard to beat me.  And this is what I continue to immensely improve in.  I have more left in me to show on the track, and in the 10K-13.1 distances.  I can become dangerously better at these distances.

There is another reason. The Olympic Trials half marathon standard of 1:05:00 is something I am aiming for, and feel is attainable if I really focus on getting my speed down.  I have the schedule pretty much figured out, although there may be slight changes.  Certainly, I have the spring figured out.  I plan to open with the Maryland 3000m in January.  It'll be a good race to get my turnover going and my competitive edge back.  The prime races will be shamrock half, cherry blossom, and pikes peek.  The swarthmore track 5000m is always a great finish to the season and I'm able to hold my spring peak through that race.  I would like to do the USA Half Marathon Championships again, but I am nixing that to give hierarchy to a fresh fall season, concentrating on the Philly Rock N Roll Half in Sept, along with peaking for the Army 10 Miler and Philly Half in Nov.


1.19.13 University of Maryland Indoor Track 3000m

3.17.13 Shamrock Anthem Half Marathon

4.07.13 Cherry Blossom 10 Miler

4.21.13 Pikes Peek 10K

5.13.13 Swarthmore College Outdoor Track 5000m

7.12.13 Midsummer Night's Mile

7.20.13 Rockville Twilighter 8K

8.31.13 Kentlands 5K

9.15.13 Philadelphia Rock n Roll Half Marathon

10.20.13 Army 10 Miler

11.24.13 Philadelphia Half Marathon


  1. Go Chris Go! I know you'll have an amazing year

  2. Absolutely nodding in agreement as I'm reading your post. Been reading here for about 2 years, and have been hoping you'd dedicate yourself to the 1/2 marathon. You can achieve your goal. I know it. Keep up the incredible hard work, I love reading about the journey. I'm a pathetic, lousy runner compared to you, but I pick up tips along the way from your wisdom and experience. And I too have improved and you are a source of my gains. Hope to keep learning more and seeing your continued success in 2013.