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.

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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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