After the marathon I took a serious break from running for about 2-3 weeks. I did this for two reasons, for one my body really needed the rest. I’ve had IT band issues on and off for the past few years so I’m always conscious of that and during marathon training one of my arches in my foot began to act up badly so I knew my legs needed the down time. The second reason is that I wanted time away from running so that I could miss it. I wanted to feel that sort of itch when you don’t run for a while. I’d been training for so many months and getting miles in simply because it was part of the training plan, I missed genuinely wanting to run for the sake of it and I knew a break would revive that feeling.
After those few weeks off I was definitely ready to get back out on the roads and was able to get some miles in this past weekend, but it’s time to set some new goals. Running a marathon was a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) for me and the longest distance I’ll race.
So how do you set a goal after that?
It was actually much easier than I thought. Since I had slowed my pace to increase my distance while training, my new goal now is to get quicker. The normal pace that I’m used to is around 8:10-8:15 and racing shorter distances in the sub-8:00s, I’d like to not only get back to this but get even faster. Another marathon is definitely on the horizon for me someday, but for now I’m happy maintaining a half marathon distance.
In addition to working on my speed I want to increase my strength training. For some reason I always get back into strength training in the winter – probably because it’s post-race season – and this year is no different. If you aren’t incorporating strength training regularly into your running/cardio training then you’re doing it wrong. That topic deserves its very own blog post in the future. I don’t strength train nearly as much as I should (ahem… see IT band issues above) and am determined to get stronger and prevent injuries this winter. Bring it on!
How do you prioritize and set your running/fitness goals? What goal(s) are you currently working towards? Let’s hear it!