Lessons Learned in 2011

Tonight’s post is a bit of a continuation of last night’s post when I discussed my plans for 2012. Tonight’s focus is on what I learned in 2011 and what I plan to carry forward to 2012 to help me achieve my goal of improving my marathon time in 2012.

When I trained for both of my marathons last year I did not include many hill repeats. I think I only did one series of hill repeats before each marathon. To compensate for that I tried to find a hillier route at least once per week. The problem with that plan is that there are not many big hills here in Ottawa and I think I could have benefitted from more hill training to strengthen my legs. To make up for that I plan to include hill repeats on a regular basis as I start training for the Ottawa Marathon in May.

In order to build my endurance and improve my speed I am planning to add more tempo runs to my training schedule as well as add speed work earlier in my training schedule. I had some good speed workouts last year but I did not start working them in until week 9 of my 16 week training program. I could probably also benefit from more tempo runs at a pace faster than my goal marathon pace. While I think this will help me build my speed and endurance the key will be for me to continue to follow each intense workout with a recovery effort for me to allow enough time for recovery.

Finally, the last thing I want to take more advantage this time around is cross training. Beyond doing a series of yoga for runners stretches I have not really taken advantage of the benefits of cross training. I did start adding cycling to my training for the Philadelphia Marathon last year but I added later in my training cycle. Cycling is something I definitely plan to add to my training schedule whether improves but for the next few months I will have to find another cross training activity to add to my training.

What lessons did you learn in 2011?

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