, ,

finishI’m currently training in Austin for my next big event, the Moab Half Marathon on March 15th. My plan is to leverage the oxygen at low altitude for the next couple of weeks to train at a faster pace.  Success will be demonstrated by a PR in the Half at Moab.  I PR’d there last March with a 1:38.  Considering I just ran the first half of the Austin Marathon in 1:42, I think I have a shot at it.  I just need to teach my body how to run faster.  For distance runners, speed is learned.

This picture captures my kick in the Austin Marathon last Sunday.  Both feet off the pavement.  That’s a little oxygen in my step.  If I’m going to be running in Austin for three weeks, I’m going to run fast.  I think I wrote of my 2014 plans in one of my end of year blogs that my goal would be to simply maintain.  And it’s still true that I reached a level of fitness last year that I am more than pleased with.  And that I obtained an equilibrium of sorts with my race pace.  I was rarely competitive in terms of placing but I oftentimes felt like I was racing which is what it’s all about for me.  I suggested I would be more than happy to simply enjoy a 2014 on par with my 2013.  No need to improve.

Turns out, I expect to take some time off from running this spring.  Maybe longer.  Priorities.  Moab might be my last race for awhile.  Possibly all year.  So I’m motivated to go out with a bang.  Not sure what to expect as a target but breaking a 7:30 pace would be nice.  Working against me will be 4000 feet of elevation.  Austin will allow me to push my heart rate higher.  Great opportunity for fartleks and tempo runs.  But three weeks is also enough time to lose the benefits of altitude adaptation.  It comes down to oxygen therapy.  Real or hype?  I got in a nice 13 mile run today in 73° on the Brushy Creek Regional Trail.  Ran it slow though.  Still working the kinks out from last Sunday.