Friday, December 30, 2011

Farewell Dear Toenails

Tis the season to make New Year’s resolutions, and I have some fairly straight forward running-related goals for 2012. First, the fun one: do a couple running-related vacations with fellow running friends, new and old. Usually vacation requires sneaking away from family to run or blatantly rejecting invitations to happy hour in order to squeeze in a few miles.  Wonderfully, during running vacations the most complicated decisions are choosing a post-race restaurant or what Oiselle outfit to wear around town.

Now for the ‘serious’ ones. I recently read Brad Hudson’s Run Faster, and it encouraged me to look back through my 2011 training log. It was horrifying.  Crazy mileage jumps and subsequent plunges, poor recovery, overambitious workouts, and injuries all peppered my journal. Not pretty.  But I got away with it (sort of).

Resolution #1:  Stick to a weekly workout schedule that has BUILT IN recovery time.   I know this seems pretty fundamental, but I when I start to see improvements I get too excited and try to train myself into the ground.

Resolution #2: Quit mileage leaping (this goes with Res. #1).  All too often in my 2011 training, I tried upping miles AND workout intensity at the same time. Without fail I turned into zombie version of myself and limped around pathetically.  This was usually accompanied by a craving for brains. So what’s the take home message? Hover at a solid mileage so that when I train for marathons I’m not increasing continually throughout the training cycle.

Resolution #3: As a culminating goal: don’t hurt myself during Boston training! Sounds easy enough, right?

So why am I bidding my toenails adieu? Running solid mileage (continually) through a year means my ‘normal-looking’ toenail rate can drop as low as 20%. 

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