2013 / 2014 Racing Season Recap

Well, it’s that time of year when I look back and see how my racing season went.  After a disappointing 2012/2013 season, I’m pleased to say this past year was probably my best season yet.  I not only set a marathon PR, but also performed consistently in all my races. Both of marathons were run under the Boston Marathon qualifying standards and all four of my half marathons were sub-1:30.

The charts below go back 5 years.  My average marathon time improved from 3:25 to 3:08, about 17 minutes faster than last year.  I also improved my streak of running 11 straight marathons under 3:30.

2013-2014 Racing Season

So what went right this season?

1.  Consistency:  Although I had a few nagging injuries, none of them were serious to keep me from missing more than a few days.  This allowed me to carry out my training plans for the most part.

2.  Weight:  I was running about 3 to 5 lbs less this past year.  It doesn’t seem like much, but makes a significant difference over a marathon distance.  Also, eating mostly a plant based diet seems to work for me.  Although I can’t claim I’m 100% vegan, or even 90% for that matter, I don’t eat a lot of meat or animal based products.

3.  Fewer Marathons:  I only ran two marathons this season instead of the 3 or 4 in past years.  I think this reduces burnout and kept me more motivated and focused.

4.  Cross-Training:  Cross-training has become a large part of my training regimen. This has allowed me to be more well rounded in my fitness.  I limit my running to only 3 times a week, but supplement it with the bike trainer and a moderate amount of stretching/yoga and strength training.

5.  Sleep:  Don’t underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep.  Routinely making an effort to get 8 hours sleep with an afternoon nap not only helps my running, but helps me manage stress as well as makes me a sharper person overall throughout the day.

So what’s next?

I’ve decided to focus my efforts on the half marathon for the 2014/2015 season.  This past season I really enjoyed running the half marathon distance and found that I tend to be a better half marathoner than full marathoner.  Also, I like the fact that training for the half marathon is less wear and tear on the body and recovery from a race is relatively quick.  I think if I could dedicate my efforts to this distance over the next year, I may be able to shave 2 to 3 minutes off my current 1:25 PR.  I have three half marathons planned for the rest of 2014 (August, November and December) and will probably run 2 or 3 more the first half of 2015.  Not sure when I’ll run my next full marathon, but at this point, it probably won’t be until at least the late-2015.


About runninginspired

I’m in my mid-40s and have been running for about 19 years. I have finished 24 marathons with a personal best time of 3:04. I currently reside in San Diego, CA. I enjoy running since it keeps you honest and will give back what you put into it. Work hard, but smart, and good results will eventually follow. I like to experiment with training plans, gadgets, shoes, and nutrition to find what works for me. The primary purpose of this blog is to document my training and thoughts about running in my ongoing quest to improve my fitness and health.
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2 Responses to 2013 / 2014 Racing Season Recap

  1. Wow! Your time drops are really impressive-nice work!

    • Thanks for the comment. An interesting thing about running is that you can continue to improve (regardless of age) for a number of years before you plateau without much more effort as long as you are consistent with your running. However, at some point, the improvements start to slow 🙂

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