After missing the cutoff for Boston 2017, I was determined to work even harder to give myself the best opportunity to make the cutoff for Boston 2018. One advantage I have over my previous attempt to qualify is I enter the 45-49 age group for the 2018 race and now need to better a 3:25:00 marathon finishing time (an additional ten minutes from the previous age group). Considering my personal best in the marathon distance in 2016 was 3:13:42, I could follow the same training plan and hope for the same outcome; however, this doesn’t coincide with the goals I established for 2017.
This year, I want to be a fitter and faster runner than I was in 2016. I exceeded my expectations last year, but did I reach my full potential? We’ll soon find out! The Mississauga Marathon is my Spring goal race where I not only intend on smashing my BQ, I intend on smashing my PB time. Here’s what I’ll be doing differently to make it happen.
With the exception of my first attempt at the marathon distance where I followed a Higdon Training Plan, I always developed my own plans. The plans were developed to hit specific paces and were flexible enough to adapt to my unpredictable work and life schedule. I’ve got a lot to learn about running and I’m far from a running coach; however, I knew what worked for me and I was able to shave 15 minutes and 20 minutes off my marathon times following this strategy. The plans were a hodge-podge of various plans and far from perfect, so this time I wanted to try something different. I wanted to see if I could work with a running coach who could help me develop a training plan to meet or exceed my goal.
My buddy Daniel introduced me to Coach Colin Murray-Lawson from High Park Rogue Runners. Coach Colin is a beauty of a runner with a wicked running resume. I met Coach Colin at the High Park Running Room in November and shared my previous race experience as well as my goal for my Spring marathon. Coach Colin developed a plan that we feel targets my biggest problem area; speed endurance. There’s no question I can be on my feet for 3 1/2 hours or more, I just need to improve my ability to continue running at a fast pace for the entire duration of a race.
I included strength training in both my Goodlife Fitness Toronto Marathon and Erie Marathon training plans although I wasn’t very disciplined and missed a number of workouts. This time around, I will hold myself accountable for ensuring I do all of my workouts. Like last time, I’ll follow the Building Better Runners strength training circuits provided by The Runner’s Academy.
I have always been good about my diet throughout the duration of my marathon training plans, but always felt I could do better. I don’t want to worry about everything I put in my body this time, but I will try to be more conscious about making smarter choices.
Finally, I will be using the Believe Logbook to track my progress. All of my run data will be stored in Strava and Garmin Connect, but once it’s posted to a website, it’s almost “out of sight out of mind”. By documenting my progress and making notes on how I felt during my runs, I will be able to hold myself accountable for ensuring I put in the work to give myself the best chance to smash my goals. I will also document how I felt during the run so I can look back and review my progress.
I’ll be posting my training progress on my blog each week. I invite you to follow along and hopefully this will inspire you to find ways to track your own progress as you work towards your goals in 2017!