So it officially begins... Sort of.
The actual training plan for the Goofy Challenge begins in September. But the enormity of the Challenge definitely warrants preparation. So I have worked out a long term training plan which includes the preparation of the preparation.
The current agenda is paying off big time. Cross-training in the form of P90X3 is starting to show it's benefits. The program is tough and it has been challenging to get used to the extra work besides running, but the purpose was to come out stronger out the other end and its working. Yesterday, I ran probably the best 4 miles I have run in a long while. I've been losing weight slow but steady, just the way I want it and I've been eating better than ever. Now, it's time to focus all that into the specific task that is the Goofy Challenge.
The main part of course, is the running. I've been running steadily about 3 times per week. Now I need to specify those runs into regular runs, workout runs and long runs. Regular runs are what are usually called easy runs but I refuse to call them that. Nothing easy about running long distances if you ask me. Fun? Of course! Good for you? Definitely! But easy? Not if you are doing it right.
Workout runs have a specific purpose. Tempo runs, speedwork, hills... they all fall in this category. One of my runs per week will be a workout run. I will be very careful in this area as this is what I believe got me into knee trouble the last time.
Long runs are, of course the bread and butter of the training plan. I will be adding distance very slowly. Starting early affords me this time to get my body used to it. Eventually I will add a second long run to start "simulating" the Goofy Challenge conditions so that will be 4 runs a week total with 2 long runs on consecutive days. Again, being very careful to avoid injury. I know it sounds like a lot but it really is alright. In fact, apart from the extra long run, its not that much different from my current schedule.
Then, there's racing. I feel weird even saying it but I've hardly raced this year. In fact I haven't raced since the Puerto Rico Half Marathon but that has been by design as I focus on cross-training and other things. However, racing will be an important gauge of where I'm at training-wise. There will be three races that I consider part of my training plan. First, the Popular Bank's 5K, which I have done every year since it was my first race ever. A PR here is, in my opinion, a step in the right direction. Then in September there will be the Lola Challenge Weekend. This one will be very important as it will involve running a 10K on Saturday and a Half Marathon on Sunday. I call it the "Mini-Goofy". I can't think of a better way to make sure everything is going according to plan than this. Finally in November I will again run the Diva's Half Marathon. Yes, it will be done in a tutu. Can't really back away from that at this point. On both of these instances, I'm not looking for a PR of any kind. I just want to finish and feel good afterwards. If I can pull that off, it would be great. If I can run the Divas Half and wake up the next day without any major ill effects I would definitely hop on the plane to Florida in January with a whole lot of confidence.
In the cross-training department, I'm currently halfway through P90X3. I think I have made enough emphasis on how tough but rewarding this has been. As I reach the peak of run training and therefore, mileage, cross-training has to be brought down in intensity as I focus more on running. I was thinking of doing a second round of P90X3 back to back but after some thought, I think it would be better to try something that is lower impact. There is a great program called PiYo that is lower impact but still challenging that I'm very interested in. If I end up doing it, I'll tell you all about it when I do.
And that's pretty much it. The Road to Goofy in a nutshell. Nothing is written in stone though. I will be adjusting things as I go along and if you guys have any suggestions I'm all ears so bring it on!