I’ve planned out the rest of my race year, through to my key race – the Tararua Mountain Race in March 2013.
In fact it’s the Tararua Mountain Race which has forced me to start planning. I’m fairly apprehensive about it because I’ve never done a trail race, I’ve certainly never run for more than 4 hours (it’s likely to take me 7hrs+), and the 2400m of climbing and descending are bloody intimidating! Having hiked the route several years back, I know the trail can be quite narrow and rough, so coming in with mostly on-road training would be a mistake.
I’ve started to remedy this already. I’ve been exploring some short hilly trails nearby, looking for places where I can train in earnest later in the year. The Strava run segment explorer is a great tool for finding popular hilly runs, and from there you can drill down into local runners and see which routes they’ve tried. I can waste hours exploring Strava!
I’m also planning to race some longish (25-30km) trail events in the South-East Queensland area in the coming months. These will not only give me a feeling for how the checkpoint systems work, but also get me thinking about nutrition, hydration and gear management (must carry a survival blanket, long johns etc).
I haven’t yet worked out how I’ll prepare for the possibly dire and cold NZ weather! Not a lot of that on the Gold Coast around New Year…
But eight months is a long time to be building for a single race, so I’ve chalked the Port Macquarie 70.3 in for October. Not for any real reason, except that it fits my timetable nicely: 16 weeks after the Gold Coast Half Marathon, and 18 weeks before the Tararua Mountain Race. It also gives me an excuse to keep riding and swimming. These two fall away when I have a run-focus, and my recovery suffers because of it. Plus I do have a sub 5hr half ironman goal lying around somewhere… 😉
But I get ahead of myself.
It’s only four weeks until the Gold Coast Half Marathon, and I’ve just found out my parents are going to be here to watch me race for the first time ever! GADS! Only 3 weeks ago I was racing tris, and my run training is waaaaay behind where it was last year. Hopefully I can find some speed over the next couple of weeks and lower that 1:28 PR. The 1:24 goal is out of reach at this stage, but I might get a crack at it if I can find a nice flat half marathon 6-8 weeks after the GC.
So that’s the plan. It’s laughable really as the REAL WORLD will have a big say on how much of this can actually happen. But it’s good to have a starting place anyway!