I’ve been winding down my running a little since doing my marathon last month, after the intensity and focus on training in the weeks leading up to it’s been quite nice to have a few weeks of just running when I feel like it and not feeling the pressure of needing to do a particular distance.
But now it’s time to spend a bit of time planning my winter training over the next couple of months and I’m thinking of doing things a bit differently. I’ve built up quite a decent base fitness I think and so inspired by the discussions on Talk Ultra in recent weeks I’m going to focus my time on running form and speed work.
My intention is to not do any races in December and January and instead use this time to focus on technique and also build some speed. After all I’ve spent most the year doing lots of runs but mostly not particularly fast and a little stop start as I run with the hound 90% of the time. This also has the advantage of adding some variety to my training which is never a bad thing after a long year.
I haven’t quite figured out what working on my running form looks like yet but I may do those sessions at lunch times as they should be shorter in length. I am also tempted to get a session with a professional for some proper coaching and advice. My thinking is that if I want to progress to running ultra’s then good form will go a long way to making that achievable.
The speed work will most likely take a few different forms, today I did a 5 mile tempo run at a decent pace for example. But will also try to do some 6 x 3 minute effort sessions and possibly even some hill reps. All good things to build some speed in the legs which always helps when you hit that last hill in a tough race and of course also means running race pace in an ultra will feel easy!
I’ll still of course be heading out quite a few mornings each week with the hound but those will be short and an easy pace (there’s only so fast you can run off road in the dark without breaking an ankle). They’ll keep me ticking over nicely and leave my legs reasonably fresh for the other sessions.
So that’s my plan, what have you got planned for the next couple of months? Racing or focused on training?