We began offering pace leaders for the KeyBank Vermont City Marathon in 2009. This year, pace leaders are available for the following times: 3:15, 3:30, 3:45, 4:00, 4:15, 4:30, 4:45, 5:00, and 5:30. We’ll feature our pace team leaders here on the blog every Wednesday and Friday through March.
If you’re interested in running with a pace leader or just want to know more about the program, please be sure to read this post. While registration is not required, we would love to get a sense of how many people plan to run with each SkiRack Pace Leader. Please contact our SkiRack Pace Team coordinator, Jack Pilla, at firstname.lastname@example.org indicating which pace group you plan to run with. No worries if you change your mind between now and race day and decide to run another pace or opt out of the Pace Team.
[As I am writing this, it is] mid-February – time to plan for the KBVCM! After a great xc-skiing workout, it is time to seat down this Sunday afternoon and color my calendar. I love to kick-off my running season with a good plan. First I write down the goal on May 26: KBVCM 3:30 Next I plan the phases on the right edge of the calendar. I write all my long runs duration on Sundays backward from May 26th to February 10th! My first month is base running in heart rate zones 1 and 2 reaching a 2h30 run on March 17th. Then my second phase starts with a 10K in Montreal on March 24th. My way to baseline my running shape. Time to plan my weekly speed workouts on Tuesdays and my weekly marathon pace workout on Fridays. For speed workouts, I like to start with 400m repeats. Every week I increase my speed workout distance by 400m. As for my marathon pace workout, I start with 30 minutes and increase it every week by 10 minutes. On May 6th, time to start tapering. Remember – it is just one plan to get ready for our marathon on May 26. Whatever the plan you choose to use, be ready for adjustments and pay attention to your body signals. Time to go out and run.
So I am currently in training ~6 weeks before Boston Marathon (mid April) and thought it may be helpful to share some of the things I have learned from this go at training – particularly for those of you that are really getting into the thick it (i.e. ramping mileage and/or harder runs) for VCM.
So about 5-6 weeks ago (mid-January) I really wanted to pick up the both the number of ‘quality’ (harder) runs and distance. Given time of year in VT, I was finding myself doing harder workouts on the treadmill (which I believe can be a recipe for injury) and using my available off-running days for skiing/ ski touring. Something between pushing too hard on treadmill, poor footing on ice covered roads, and cramming my feet into AT Ski Boots caused seemingly serious foot pain in my left foot. Unable to specifically diagnose the problem and at a time when I really wanted to be getting some good runs (~10 weeks b/f Boston Marathon), I can’t tell you how frustrating (and depressing!) it was unable to run and worrying about a stickin foot. After a couple weeks, I got an x-ray that showed no bone damage; got some good advice from all those who have share in similar foot issues (apparently there are many); and am back happily running and in peak training for Boston (albeit a few hard runs behind were I would have liked to be). A couple take aways, from the situation:
1) On Foot issues: Take care of feet. A couple things that I really think helped me were: First rolling my foot on a hard ball (lacrosse ball, golf ball, or wooden toy orange from kids kitchen set) at any opportunity. It hurts a bit, but you start to crave the sensation. Second, ice baths for the foot if they are swelling (as mine was) and maybe Epsom salt baths (more comfy); thirdly, stretching foot and calf as much as possible; and fourth, Hoka’s if foot is still not great but the rest of you really needs to get out for a long run.
2) On Perspective: I am always in a bad mood when I can’t get out and run or do something active (just ask my wife Christine), but in this situation I was really being dragged down by thoughts that I wouldn’t be able to achieve goals or even worse not be able to run Boston. I wanted to just push through it, but at some point realized that would not resolve situation. I think what ultimately helped (along with caring for foot) was relaxing a bit and simply reminding myself of why I run. At the end of the day, it really does not matter if I run 5 min faster or slower (I’m still not making it in any books) and the last thing I want to do is hurt myself more seriously (thus putting me out indefinitely). I run because it makes me feel good and reduce stress; because it gives me an opportunity to get outside with friends; because it makes be healthy; etc. Sure I like to push it hard in some workouts and crave some sort of progress, but if some internal/ made-up goals are causing increased stress or worsen an injury, its not worth it. In the end, I really think just remembering what my ultimate goals are (getting outside and exerting energy) and not getting too set on artificial ones (I NEED to get under X:XX) has/will help me to both enjoy and become a better (and faster) runner.
Anyway, enough preaching from me (and not really sure who should listen anyhow) but thought it might be interesting to hear some of the ramblings that go through my head on any given long run. I really hope your training is going well and you are enjoying the trainings. I really look forward to the VCM (honestly maybe more than other races I have planned) as an opportunity simply to get out and run.
Have fun with it! Jason