While reading Cynthia’s blog yesterday morning, I noticed at the bottom of her blog post that this week’s Friday Five Theme is Fitness Goals. This was PERFECT timing for me since yesterday afternoon this happened:
That’s right folks, I registered for half marathon #3! Over Labor Day weekend I’ll be returning to Virginia Beach to complete my third half in nine months. You may recall that last year Preston ran Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach and I ran the Mini Marathon (aka 5k). While Preston is still undecided about whether or not he’ll run Virginia Beach this year, this is where we’ll be closing out summer.
If registering for half #3 weren’t exciting enough, I will earn two medals for running this race: the usual finisher’s medal as well as my first Heavy Medal for completing two Rock ‘n’ Roll races in one year.
Since Jeff Galloway’s beginner 18 week plan worked really well when I trained for the Disney World Half Marathon, I’ll be following his “finish in the upright position” 18 week plan to prepare for Virginia Beach. The fun starts on Monday, April 28th!
Knowing that spring and summer are always crazy for us, I have five training goals that I’ll focus on as I train for half #3:
1. Stay on track with my training and make adjustments as necessary.
While training for Disney World my training calendar overlapped multiple holidays that we traveled out of town for, as well as traveling to Illinois for my mom’s surprise birthday party. Spring and summer is usually very busy for Preston and I (we already have plans to be out of town four weekends in May and June with more travel throughout the summer in the works), so I know that it’ll be critical to keep my training calendar close by and move long runs around as necessary. Spring and summer activities may mean that some weeks I have to move my long run to a Friday or Monday, and if that’s necessary then I’ll do so. When training for my first half I didn’t miss any of my long runs and only missed a couple of my weekday runs, and I want to do everything possible to ensure that I stay on track with my training again.
2. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
Unlike when I trained for Disney World or Rock ‘n’ Roll USA, this training cycle I’ll be training during the hottest months of the year. It’ll be more critical than ever that I ensure that I am constantly drinking water and as well as replacing my electrolytes that I loose during training. DC is well known not only for its heat but also its humidity, and it’ll be important that I’m not just hydrating before and after runs but throughout the day as well.
3. Get enough sleep and keep my stress level down.
Unlike with my past two training cycles, I will only be teaching for the first half of my training for Virginia Beach. While I have lots of other events already on my summer calendar, and am hoping that I’ll hear soon about the curriculum project that I’ve worked on every summer since I started teaching, my stress level should be much lower during the peak of my training cycle and I should be able to get sufficient sleep to not only efficiently train but to also make sure that I don’t have another health issue like I did only weeks before Rock ‘n’ Roll USA.
4. Properly fuel my body with mostly clean, unprocessed foods.
While eating some processed food here and there won’t have a huge detriment on my training, eating as much clean food as possible will ensure that I’m providing my body with the greatest nourishment possible. This isn’t a shift from what I already do, but with a busy spring and summer calendar with lots of events with friends and family already planned, this will certainly be easier said than done.
5. Watch the sun, heat, and humidity and adjust my runs as necessary.
At this point I’m not setting a finish time goal for myself, partly because I know from experience last summer that I’m a slower runner during the summer than I am at other times of the year. It’ll be imperative that I listen to my body and slow down my speed if I feel too hot. I’m not an early morning person (getting up every day for work at 4:45am might have something to do with that), but it’ll probably also be necessary that I focus on getting many of my long runs in before it gets too late into the day, or else I may be forced to complete many long runs on the treadmill in order to prevent the risk of heat exhaustion.
I’ll of course talk more about my goals for Virginia Beach as I progress through my training and get closer to the race. Ready or not, my next round of half marathon training starts in just ten short days!
QOTD: What is your next big race? What training goals do you have as you prepare for that race?