web 2.0

Jan 10, 2012

Running resolutions

I have not had time to post since mid-November, so let me first wish you a very happy new year before it is too late. I hope 2012 will be a great one for you and your loved ones.

With the new year comes the time to reflect on the past 52 weeks and make resolutions for the months ahead. In this post, I will focus on the fitness side of things.

Back in January last year, my objective was to cycle at least 400 kilometres, and to run about 130. Of course, I had no idea about what was going to happen on March 11th and the initiation of Project Biwa as a response to these events. The charity ride changed everything, as I had to change focus and train to cycle long distances on a single-speed 20kg bicycle.

It was already late October when I finally managed to find time to run again, and this was very short-lived as December was spent moving from Japan and settling back in Ireland. In the end, 2011 saw me cycle 1800 kilometres, and run only 46.

This year will be very different. For one thing, I do not have a bike here. We are moving back to Japan near the end of the year so there was no point sending my bike, and it is waiting for me in Osaka. 2012 will be all about running.

I do not want to get too carried away with high goals in terms of total distance, but approximately 500 kilometres seems fair. I am recovering from a nasty cold but should be able to resume running this week. If I remove four weeks after mid-November for the move back to Japan, this leaves 47 weeks. I will have to travel for work as well (a couple of weeks in Japan, maybe a week in Canada and a few trips within Europe) so I am removing another five weeks, which leaves me 42 weeks worth of running. I only need to manage an average of 12 km/week to top 500 kilometres. This seems fairly straight-forward, but this year has taught me to be careful with my objectives, so it is fair enough.

The next step is to decide on milestones to motivate me. In an ideal world, I would love to run the Dublin Marathon this autumn (October 29th). The registration deadline is on October 1st (or July 31st for the reduced fee) so I still have plenty of time to see how my running goes, but it really is an objective for this year. In 2011, the organisers had a very nice idea, in that they planned a race series to help those training for the marathon. There was a 5-mile race in mid-July, a 10-mile race in mid-August and finally a half-marathon in mid-September, about six weeks before the full marathon. If a similar series is organised this year, I would almost certainly take part. It would be a great way to assess my progress, and also a very useful experience before possibly running a marathon (it would be quite stressful if my first race was a marathon!).

As all these races are in the second half of the year, I have plenty of time to get ready. If you have any idea as to how I should organise my training, please feel free to share your thoughts. So far I was thinking of focusing the first three months of building up my stamina and gradually increasing distances until reaching maybe 20-25 km runs, and then spending the next three months improving my speed so as to finish the July 5-miler in a decent time. Does this sounds sensible, or should I do the opposite? Or maybe do both in parallel over the entire six months? Feedback and ideas are welcome! After that, the idea is to increase distances again to be ready for the marathon at the end of October.

Writing all this is slightly scary, as I never thought I would ever plan something like that, but there is someone out there who is planning something truly amazing. Do you remember Kevin and his 60km "Running to help Japan" ultra-marathon last year? This year, he is considering running eight(!) marathons in eight(!!) weeks to raise even more funds for Save the Children. How amazing is that? He has already posted his initial ideas, so make sure to check out his blog.

No comments: