Here we go! So my original plan was to start training for Chicago in June but after some chats with my coach, Mathew Nark (@narkrunningstrategies), I’ve agreed to start this week (Monday). The extra month is going to give me time to build a little, increase my mileage before “real” training starts and allow me to get some quality workouts in so that I can gage my current fitness level.
Mat trains some of my super inspiring (and fast!) friends on Instagram – Erin @thelittlerunnergirl, Allison @aaaakondo and Rachel @rcaroline26.2 – and since I’m always open to trying new methods and exploring opportunities, I thought WHAT THE HECK?! Sometimes change is good and may be exactly what you need to push you out of your comfort zone, right?
Anywho, getting set up with Mat was a marathon in itself – LOL. I downloaded about 47 apps (just kidding, it was only five) but I am impressed with his attention to detail and commitment to helping me improve. If anyone is interested in which apps we are using, here you go:
McRun – This is a great app to use to predict race times and workout paces. You can plug in a recent race time and it tells you what pace you should aim for when doing recovery runs, long runs, easy runs, tempos, etc.
Final Surge – Mat uses Final Surge to plug all my workouts in and I get direct emails (daily) telling me what’s on my schedule. All of my data from my Garmin gets uploaded to Final Surge automatically so he can see all of the details. There’s also an option to add comments so I can tell Mat when my runs are awesome/not awesome or when my legs feel broken or when a goose hisses at me to get off the sidewalk (no lie, this actually happened on Saturday and I was *this close* to getting goose attacked #CanadianProblems).
Garmin Connect – Self-explanatory! I never used to have this app because my old Garmin didn’t have bluetooth capabilities but now I get to do alllll the analyzing! I am kind of addicted to it.
Google Drive – I’ll be using Google Drive to access and view Mat’s spreadsheet.
Google Sheets – This app gives me the option to edit the file(s) in Google Drive.
So far this week I’ve done a 4-mile recovery run on Monday, had a rest day yesterday and a 5-mile easy run tonight.
It’s a bit hard to know what my paces should be for my runs right now because it’s been a long time since I actually raced. We came up with some rough numbers using the McRun app but I am going to try and get some local races under my belt so that we can be sure.
My tentative race calendar looks like this:
Sporting Life 10K on May 14th
Toronto Women’s 5K on May 28th
Toronto Waterfront 10K on June 17th
…and then I probably won’t run another race until a month out from Chicago (MEC Half Marathon on September 10th)
The first three races are pretty soon but I need to run them in order to have some sort of indication of where I’m at. Then we will go from there and hopefully I will progress and get back to where I used to be (or faster)! In terms of my goals for these races, it’s just to do my best without dying. They are more of a fitness test than anything else. I haven’t thought about goals for Chicago yet because it’s still months away. I’ll think about that once we get closer and I have a better idea of what my body is prepared for. Maybe it will be a sub-4:00, maybe a new PR, maybe a BQ (<- wishful thinking hah).
Sooo that’s it! I’m looking forward to following a plan again and pushing myself a little more than I’m used to.