by Dathan Ritzenhein | Feb 24, 2013 |
I was so excited to announce last week that I would be returning to the 2013 Bank of America Chicago Marathon! It may seem like a long way off, it is still eight months away, but I wanted to be able to focus my whole year around that race. By making Chicago my main goal, it does not mean it’s the only thing that matters, but instead it means I want to make sure I peak at the right moment. Physically I want to do the right training throughout the year so that I have a great 2013 but also so that I am at my best come October.
The good news is that I have a road map of last year. In 2012 I was focused on making it to the Olympic Games. I wouldn’t say that Chicago was an after-thought but I had a lot on my mind before I could even turn my attention to that race. I think it helped to keep me distracted but there are a few things I want to do differently throughout the year. I want to keep a little more specific endurance training in and maybe a few more 20+ mile runs throughout the year, but I know not to change too much either. For me, just getting to the line healthy is the biggest goal. If I can just stack another year of training on top of what I gained last year, it will be a better race than in 2012.
One thing that I won’t change too much is my racing schedule. I hated how much pressure the Olympic year brought, but looking back, physically it was a good racing plan. The mix of distances was good for me and it helped me to periodize my training so that I didn’t get too stale. Having a previous years base will help me as well, but I need to make sure I am always doing the fundamental training that it takes to keep fitness all year long. I think for the majority of the season you should never be too far away from racing any one distance. That is why I will try to hopefully race many times throughout the year at varying distances. It will allow me to push harder than I can in workouts, but still let me get right back into training.
Obviously the workouts will get better throughout the year and they will get harder as the peak season approaches but never forgetting to keep those occasional really long runs and tempos is important. In a normal base time of year, like now, I do them all the time but as the track season ramps up they become less frequent. Similarly, I will try to have my racing follow the same approach. Longer races early, then short intense track throughout the summer then back into a brief but intense couple months of marathon specific training.
I know this worked well last year and I am glad I have October 13th set in stone; now I can tackle the rest of the year!