What I’d do differently: Self Criticism and Analysis

Can you tell I’ve been doing some corporate powerpoints today? Hence the title.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I’ll do differently next time I tackle the 26.2 distance– I don’t know when that will be (May 1, 2010) or where (probably Eugene) or why I want to do it again (because I’m a sick puppy and I love it) but I do know that it’s important to think about your cycle as a whole think through everything: running, diet, timing, races, hydration, etc. So…

Things I’ll keep the same:

1. My mileage. 70 miles per week seemed about right for me. Sure, it was a challenge fitting them all in but I really felt an increase in my cardiovascular fitness and running economy. I enjoyed my 2nd runs after awhile and felt the mileage was appropriate for me.

2. Jack Daniels. I love me some Jack. He works me hard but it is hands down, the best training program out there. At least for me! If it’s not broken, I’m not going to fix it. I may modify it slightly but there won’t be any big changes.

3. My work schedule and other commitments are not changing any time soon. If anything, I am going to get busier so the getting up before the sun thing is sadly going to continue.

Things I’ll do differently:

1. Begin tracking food intake sooner. I really do need to get leaner to accomplish my goal. Size is a factor and I got my self-discipline too late. Just to re-emphasize: I think I look fine. This is just for running purposes. I’ll probably eat less meat and say no to more cookies. But I really like cookies.

2. Less booze. I was a little lax with the wine intake– particularly in the beginning and middle of my training. This was really detrimental to my “get smaller” and “get faster” goals. I’m not going on the wagon, but I need to step it back. Booze is bad times for your body. I don’t have a problem, but 2 glasses on a Wednesday? Superfluous.

3. More M Pace runs, fewer races. I think we all know that I love a good race, but next time I want to do more marathon-paced running. I never fell into my marathon pace comfortably and had a hard time holding it for more than a few miles simply because I didn’t have a good feel for its cadence.

4. Incorporate more medium-long runs. I did this too late also. But when my quality workout is less than 10 miles I need to incorporate an 11-14 mile medium long run instead of a double day.

5. Less pressure on myself. Not qualifying for Boston isn’t going to kill anyone. It’s fine. Do I want it? Um, yes. But freaking out is really detrimental to my racing.

6. More hills. Hills make you stronger. They’re about as rare as a unicorn here, but it’s not impossible to run them. I have a few stretches where I can do repeats and I need to do them regularly. It’s just a matter of discipline.

7. Keep up with the strength training. I got pretty tired weeks 10-18 and stopped strength training and doing core work. I could definitely tell it was adversely affecting my running but I just couldn’t fit it in. This time, I will.

8. More sleep. This one is a challenge, but in order to run 70 miles per week, you must sleep. So I will.

9. Up the intensity. I can run faster than I was for a good chunk of my quality workouts. So instead of 7:50 LT miles, I’m going to shoot for 7:40s. Hopefully this helps.

I think that’s it. Still no running but that’s okay with me. I’m fighting a mild cold and just feel tired. Operation Recovery is going well, though.


5 responses to “What I’d do differently: Self Criticism and Analysis

  1. #2 is a good one! I may have a problem with this come tax season…mine poison is makers mark and diet…also not so good on a Wednesday!
    #3 and #9 are really smart. I feel like I gained a lot this summer by doing the majority of my runs at either MP or faster. I know the thinking behind doing longer runs at a slower pace, but once you have a good base going like you do, it isn’t a matter of over coming being on your legs for that long, it becomes how long you can hold those paces. I do all my runs now at MP or faster and I think it has been just what I needed.
    #7 is good too, I always fall off that wagon after 3 or 4 weeks…maybe we could create a little challenge together 🙂
    I am going for Eugen too, and as much fun as it would be to have you there I am not going to pressure you but simply say, “it would be nice”!
    Have a good Friday! Hope the cold gets better soon 🙂

  2. Very nice list, I’m going to incorporate a lot of these also. #5 has been my nemesis forever! I need to get in decent long runs in, too, and learn not to take them so hard at the beginning of the run. This I know, but can’t seem to quite hit the mark. Sleep is also one of my problems. I think it’s wise to base build for awhile and then start incorporating speed work.

    Hope you have a great running weekend ! 🙂

  3. great post!! i think its so important to look back at your training cycle and reflect on what you liked and what you want to change. every time you learn SO much about yourself and training and its fun to incorporate all these changes into the next training cycle.

    #1 really helped me a lot the second half of this year. i knew when i need to eat MORE and i knew when i was doing ok. it made me very conscious of the decisions i was making when it came to food and if i needed more carbs vs veggies at different points in the day.

    #2 i dont really ever drink during the week, and during training i will occasionally on weekends. i can just tell when i do and it doesn’t feel great. so i usually save it for after long runs or the night before a rest day as a reward.

    #3 i think races really helped me out this year BUT i also think its important to find the M pace (although i only hit my goal M pace during one mile of the 26 lol). i think incorporating M pace runs really helps and i actually kind of like hal’s plans that do a M pace run the day before a long run. obviously in your case if your long run is a Q workout this wouldnt work. also pfitz has changed his plans to have more M pace in the middle of long runs which i think is a great way to do it too.

    #4 i think ML have helped me SO MUCH. love them.

    #5 i think you might be better this time around, that first real BQ attempt that people know about kind of makes you crazy. if you dont get it, you will try again and you will keep trying. the important thing is that you are growing as a runner and you WILL get it.

    #7 is on my list every single training cycle lol


    #9 get those 7:40s!! now that you have done the 7:50s its time to go faster 🙂 i think they will help you a ton, i know they helped me.

    end of longest comment ever.

  4. I don’t know how many speed workouts you do in a week, but I actually run better when I just do 1. I need to make myself do hills too.

  5. 70 miles per week is amazing – and yes the hills work!

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