End of the “off” season = start of the “on” season?

Last Year’s season, for me, ended slowly and painfully.  Normally, one big race signifies the climax to a long, often grueling, year of training and racing.  For me, it started early last Winter with some brutally cold riding with Dan followed by some base running miles and then speedwork with the lunch crowd.  It quickly went from ice and snow to melted tar.  The races started and kept on going.  They started as shorter races and quickly became half marathons to half ironmans to a full Ironman and back to a full marathon.  I was definitely in great shape (thanks to Eric Bean and FFT for a great training plan) and had planned to do one last fast marathon late in the Winter.  A couple of really hard workouts (post-marathon) and some longer runs and I felt like a train wreck.  The season that had been going pretty much non-stop for a solid year finally caught up to me and I felt like complete crap.  My legs hurt, no energy, no motivation, nothing.  I needed some time off.  My body had made a decision that I needed time off, and that was the end of the discussion.  And that’s what I did.  Most of November was spent doing little in terms of exercise.  Beyond maintaining a little bit of swimming fitness, I just recovered.

While I was busy recovering (which involved making and drinking a lot of beer) I read a book called Daniels’ Running Formula.  I had heard about it in various circles and a few people had recommended it, but I just never had the desire to read a book specifically about distance running.  Ultimately, I decided to give it look and have been extremely interested in it ever since.  It’s based on a higher mileage program than I’ve ever run before.  I feel like I need to really target my running in order to achieve the goals I would like to in triathlon.  I feel like last year was really a breakthrough year for me in cycling and time trialing and now my focus needs to be the run.

I have targeted two half marathons in April as early season motivators to get me into shape (using the Daniels’ running program) and then hopefully building from there to a season of triathlons.  The half marathons are the Lincoln Memorial and the Illinois Half Marathon.  I detailed a plan based on a sample plan from the book.  It has been modified for these two races specifically and it’s based on a peak weekly mileage of 50 miles a week.  There is a small group of us following the plan so far.  You are welcome to view the plan and follow it if you’d like.  I’d be glad to help if you have questions about following it.  It’s pretty simple once you have a basic understanding of how it works.  Training Plan

With that said, the format of the Tuesday speedwork is going to have to change (at least for me).  The Tuesday workouts need to be a little slower and a little longer.  For instance, tomorrow is supposed to be 4 minutes at hard pace (6:30) followed by 3 minutes at easy pace (8:30) for a total of 4 miles.  I’ll be at the corner of MacArthur and Williams Blvd at 12:05 warmed up and ready to go.  I hope to see you there.  Welcome back to another season.