Tuesday, 31 December 2013

2013 Running Re-cap

Overall mileage: 2525 kms 
(compared to 1983 kms in 2012)

Hard to believe another year has passed. Last year at this time I hadn’t even lead a marathon clinic and now I’m heading into leading my third. Looking back on my previous year-end posts feels like a lifetime away. I feel really good about the year that was. I’m starting to hit my stride and, I think, finally have a good base to improve upon now. 

I started 2013 with a personalized training plan from Jason at StrengthRunning.com, and this was definitely a big factor in my running progress for the year. His plan included active stretching and strength exercises that I (mostly) incorporated into my daily routines and as such I was able to avoid losing training time to any serious injuries. It also got me in the habit of adding more miles in general, at easy pace. 

Leading the marathon clinic out of the Broadway Running Room in 2013 was a first, and a lot of fun. It’s a fair bit of prep work but overall once you get the routes planned, speakers booked and pace leaders sorted you can show up and enjoy the ride. It’s really exciting and satisfying working with so many motivated people and watching everyone’s progress. 

In 2011 I ran 6 races [2 marathons]
In 2012 I had 9 races booked and ran 8 [2 marathons, 1 50k]
In 2013 I had 10 races booked and ran 9 [3 marathons, 1 50k]

In 2013 I set 3 personal bests (marathon, half marathon and 10k), setting a marathon PB in May, and then besting that again in December.

Feb 10First Half ½ Marathon 1:33:45 [PB]
May 5BMO Vancouver Marathon 3:24:37 [PB until Dec]
May 26Iron Knee (Trail) 25(ish)k 2:27:00
Jun 085 Peaks Alice Lake (Trail) 11k 1:09:06 [PB on this course]
Jun 14Longest Day 10k 42:36 [PB]
Jul 20 – 5 Peaks Cypress (Trail) 14k 1:26:26
Aug 10Squamish 50k (Trail) 7:50:38
Sep 07Dingle Marathon, Ireland – 3:27:52
Oct 13 – [DNS] Victoria Marathon – Injured 
Dec 1Seattle Marathon – 3:19:09 [PB]

In June I did a V02 Max and Lactate Threshold test with PEAK Centre for Human Performance and found out where my training zones were. The majority of my training mileage for the rest of the year was focused on my Zone 1 (heart rate 128 - 142 bpm). Zone 1 is considered optimal for training aerobic fitness and increasing mitochondrial density. Ideally, as you train in this zone, you should improve your body’s ability to rid itself of lactic acid, delay fatigue, and, ultimately, run longer and faster. You also include Zone 3 and Zone 5 work (speed and hills), to increase tolerance to lactate build up, but only a small percentage of overall training is required. I did a follow-up test in December and, fortunately, found just that. I’m running faster at a lower heart rate and my new Z1 training is now 123-138 bpm. (I still have to go in for my consult about the results to best optimize them). 

Toughest part of the year was having to sit out Victoria Marathon. I led the marathon clinic with most of us aiming for this as a goal race and ended up wiping out, tripping over my own feet, a little more than a week before the race. My ribs were pretty badly bruised and it took me a good month or so to get back to training. Fortunately I came back strong in November and trained my second highest mileage month to prepare for Seattle Marathon as my backup plan. 

There a few definite highlights for the year. The top one was running my first overseas marathon in Ireland in September. I ran the Dingle Marathon around the Dingle Peninsula (South West tip of Ireland), and it was absolutely gorgeous. It was a good excuse for us to travel around Ireland as well as wing over to Paris for a week, too. 

Next highlight was probably the Squamish 50k. This was my second 50k race and it was an absolute brute. My entire being took a beating ...but I’m stronger for it(?). Great race on amazing trails in a beautiful part of the world. 

Last but not least, having Barry pace me to a new PB in Seattle Marathon in December was a great way to end off the year. 

Year end, December, I was hoping to take part in the inaugural 35k Hobo Run that Michael came up with but I got landed with a cold/flu of some sort and had to leave December being the rest and recoup, low mileage month I was kind of expecting anyway. 

Overall I’m really happy with my running progress in 2013 and I’m looking forward to new challenges in 2014. 

All the best for a Happy New Year to all my fellow running addicts! 

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