Winter training – shifting priorities

So I had all these glorious plans to start doing workouts and totally smash some track races this Spring.  I’m now realizing that I may have been a little delusional.  I’ve added in workouts the last few weeks but keep hitting some sort of setback each week that limits me to 4 days of running and/or some seriously reduced mileage.  I thought I’d be around 30 mpw right now, and instead my highest week has barely broken 15 miles.

It’s time to take a step back.

The combination of a foot flare-up and the weeklong red air alert gave me a chance to spend some time thinking and planning instead of just doing my usual stubborn-runner plowing relentlessly ahead routine.  I got back into the Jack Daniels’ text and spent some time going over the basics.  The first thing I realized is that I need a better base phase before I can build into his recommended workout phases – he’s designed the system for someone who’s done a consistent base, so the workouts are too demanding for where I’m at right now.  Secondly, I realized that I am spending way too much of my weekly mileage at workout intensities.   At 15 mpw, Daniels’ recommendation for workout mileage is 1.5  miles at Threshold pace, 1.2 at Interval pace, and only ¾ of a mile at Repetition pace.  I’ve been doing about 2 miles of Threshold, ~2 at Interval, and ~1.5 at Rep pace.  That’s 36% of my weekly mileage, compared to the recommended 23% – not ideal for trying to avoid re-injury.

So I’m returning to my training plan and making some changes.  First, I am going to ‘reset’ with a week of easy running.  I essentially took this week off so next week I’m just going to get out for 2 – 3 easy miles 5-6 days out of the week.  If all is good, I’ll add a few miles onto my total for the next week while staying easy, and then the third week I’ll add in some workout mileage in the appropriate amounts.  I may switch over to less of a speed-emphasizing plan, since it’s likely that I’ll be racing in the summer now rather than this Spring track season.  And less sprinting should help the foot heal more effectively.

Babysteps…

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