I am dividing my spring season into two portions: a training cycle and a racing cycle. Training officially starts on February 1st. I will train for 11 weeks before I begin the race cycle of my spring season. I am hoping to race four or five 5ks during the following 10 week race cycle. My weekly plan is as follows:
Downhill from Here Run Club: the run features a long hill climb (about 1 mile long) halfway through the run . The pace should be in my easy range, but sometimes I end up running faster than anticipated. I used to run with this group all the time in 2014, but hardly went at all in 2015. I just found out my favorite running partner/neighbor is moving, so I really want to make an effort to get to this group more often.
OrangeTheory Fitness: I was hoping to try OTF sometime in January but have run out of time. I don't particularly like treadmill running, but I am hoping that combining running with the dreaded strength training will make strength training not quite the chore. If I don't enjoy the class, I will sub in a medium distance run
Looking at my plan I feel like there is too much easy running and not enough speed/strength work, but last year I tried to run both speed work and hill work every week and it proved to be too hard on my body. I ended up cutting the hill repeats after just a couple weeks. This year I want to see the benefits of running both both intervals and hill repeats. I will also added the opportunity to run faster during OrangeTheory and with fast finish long runs.
Two new things that I am trying this season are running 6 days per week and having back-to-back medium effort days. Both of these things make me a bit nervous, but it seems like I am at a level where this change should be manageable. Although I will be running more days/week, I will be running fewer miles/week than I was during marathon training so it shouldn't be an issue. Since my long run will only be 10-12 miles, it really isn't the hard effort of a marathon training long run. Last fall a 10-12 mile run was just another Wednesday for me. So hopefully going into the long run slightly fatigued will not be an issue.
I won't be hammering out the details of my weekly runs during the race cycle until I see how I adapt to this training load. Once I am able to compare the results of my first 2016 race with the results of last year's 5k times I will have a better idea of what I need to focus on (unless I manage to PR that first race!).