You now have the background of how I got started, so thanks to the magic of time travel I can give you an update of where I am now. I have now been running for about 1 year and 9 months, and my times have significantly dropped thanks to some very ambitious goals that kept me consistent, such as trying to go from 57:00 10k to sub-40 in 8 months.
During that period, my training went from about 15mpw to 40mpw in a very short time. I was pretty lucky I didn’t get injured. However, holding this higher mileage was probably the thing that did the most for me at the time. I was also doing longer intervals throughout that period – 5-6x1000m at 10k goal pace – and would occasionally add some fartleks to some runs. That was about a year ago. I didn’t make my goal (ended up with 40:49), but I progressed a lot.
After that, I decided to try my luck at a half marathon. What better goal to try for than another of the big barriers (to me, these barriers to the amateur runner are: sub-20 5k, sub-40 10k, and sub-90 half). So 6 months out from the race, I decided to go for sub-90 in the half. I upped my mileage to about 45mpw and started adding in tempo runs. I tried doing Daniels’ 5-15k plan, but it ended up being too much and I could feel like I was treading the edge of injury. This ambitious goal was successful this time, and I clocked in at 1:29:39. However, a weak glute and some improper shoes had done some damage, and I came down with a case of ITBS.
After several months of lowered mileage and still no progress, I went to the physical therapist. She set me straight with some stretches and some strengthening exercises, and after three months of ITBS I was free to train hard again. My first race back was piss poor: an 8k in about 32:5x, which was definitely a setback, but I was determined to get back into it for my favourite 10k (the one I completed last year in 40:49). I jumped back into high mileage, hitting 50+mpw consistently, and also joined a local running club that has some pretty impressive runners in its membership.
My times started to drop and I felt great. I raced in a local 5k to determine fitness and I had a massive 57 second PR, clocking in at 19:03. Being so close to sub-19 was disappointing, but it was good to see how far I came.
So with just over a month of training remaining till the 10k, I hiked my mileage up again – hitting 60 miles one week and maintaining 55 for the others. The day of my 10k came, and I had the very ambitious goal where if everything went right I would go for sub-38. Unfortunately, the weather was pretty poor and on the back half of the course we were hit with strong headwinds. I will post my race report later, but my final result was 38:49 – exactly two minutes faster than one year before. While I didn’t make my super ambitious goal, I was still pretty happy with the result.
So that’s where I am now: a sub-39 10k’er with a VDOT of 54. This weekend I have a 5000m race, which is part of a larger track series. I am hoping to go low-18s and knock my VDOT up to 55. Other than this series and a Tough Mudder, I will mostly be training for the same half I did last year, this time with a goal of sub-85. To train for this I plan on completing the famous Summer of Malmo, and I most certainly will be blogging about that (something that seems to be lacking on the internet).
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