2010 is over, so I thought I would talk about this past year and some of my plans and goals for 2011. Yes, I’m simply reusing old content in order to churn out another blog post. In any case, previously on Leslie Sexton’s training…
(Click to enlarge)
It’s moderately funny if you watch 24. If not, well, thanks for bearing with me.
In the end, my log officially says 3996 miles for 2010. I know that I probably hit 4000 unofficially, because I have a tendency to underestimate my pace rather than overestimate. But the log says 3996, so that’s that. I ran twenty-two races (if we don’t count silly yet incredibly important events like the Beer Mile and the Highway 2 McDonald’s Challenge) and won twelve of them. At my current level, though, this statistic reflects the level of competition in some of those races, since I tended to win the less competitive ones. I set personal bests in the 1500m, the 5000m, and the 10,000m. I suppose I could count my 8k race as a PB, since I’ve run a few of those before, and perhaps my 10k road PB. I was very pleased with my track season. I still have mixed feelings about my cross country season. My two big races didn’t go as well as I had hoped (the 10k road championships were a disaster for me and the national cross country championships went alright but not great), but I am able to look back now and be satisfied with the progress I made during the season. I ran consistent mileage and suffered no injuries. I was able to adapt to new, longer workouts like steady runs and threshold work. And I had a good 10k road race on a slightly rolling course where my time was only nine seconds slower than my track personal best, indicating a greater level of fitness. I didn’t necessarily get the results I wanted during the cross country season, but I believe I made some fitness gains that will help me in the spring. I’ve learned to be patient about such things, so I’m confident that the training I did this fall will help me in the long run.
Now that I’m done dwelling on seasons past, I have a few positive (what?) announcements. The first is that in 2011, I will officially be running for London Runner. Last spring, I was registered as an unattached athlete because I had no coach and no team. Steve Weiler began giving me workouts in July when I admitted to him that I was lacking discipline and I had no idea what I was doing with regards to workouts, training, periodization, and somesuch terms I use but don’t understand. He gave me workouts and a training program for the rest of the summer, which worked very well for me. Unfortunately, I could not race for LRDC during the track or cross country seasons because I was technically unattached until January 1st, 2011. The big disappointment in this was not getting to race on a team at the Canadian championships in Guelph. London Runner sent three women in the senior division, one short of a team that could score. I’m excited to run on a team next year at nationals. If we can keep the group healthy and fit, we should have a good shot at a team podium finish next year.
On a related note, I will be moving to London this month. Living in London will be an important step forward for me, because I will be training with a group again. There is nothing better than group runs and workouts when one needs to get through a tough winter of training. We have a good group in London and running with a club will help me to train consistently and get stronger as I work up to the marathon in the next few years. So many senior athletes fall off the map after they run out of collegiate eligibility, and the best way to fix this problem is to have a bunch of strong club programs for post-collegiates across the country. I will certainly benefit because I will have a training program to follow and people to run with, and I hope to give back by helping to build the senior women’s team so that others have a group to train with after university. It is in this way that we can slowly work towards having greater depth in distance events as a country.
Finally, I have been selected for the London Runner Athlete Assistance Program for 2011. Thanks to Runners’ Choice London and New Balance, I will be running in New Balance shoes and apparel and I will receive some financial help to offset my travel expenses (which will be crucial since both national cross country and track are out west this year). I am very excited about this, as I have been extremely happy with the New Balance shoes I have been wearing this season (759s and 205s), and their 2011 lineup looks incredible. In addition, New Balance’s support for Canadian runners and clubs such as Speed River is an important contribution to the betterment of Canadian distance running and the Canadian running community as a whole. I am very fortunate to be sponsored by a company whose product and vision I can stand behind. A big thanks to London Runner, New Balance, and Runners’ Choice for their support. Thanks to their help, I will be able to devote more time to training and focus on getting faster.
I have yet to figure out my racing schedule for 2011, but my first race will most likely be the Really Chilly 10k in London on February 27th. When I eventually get around to racing on the track, I will be focusing on the 1500m and the 5000m. Don’t worry; I will still be running high mileage. I need to work on my footspeed and turnover, and there is no better time than the present. I’m anxious to move up to longer road races, but I understand that I need to get fast and very strong before I can make the jump. I need to be fit and strong enough to be able to handle high mileage marathon training down the road, and the only way to do that is to put in consistent training for the next few years. I frequently hear about guys from Speed River like Coolsaet or Watson doing monster mileage and I want to do the same. However, these runners are in their late twenties and have been training at a high level for many years. Though I have done a few big weeks (137 miles – or 220 km – for anyone who is interested), for me it makes more sense to first focus on running 100 miles a week consistently. I need to train now, so that I can really train in a few years. But I digress. The point is that I’ll be doing something of a speed focus this summer. Wish me luck, because I’m going to need it. (And anyone who witnessed my particularly heinous post-tempo Texas strides on Thursday will know why.)
And with that said, I’m going to go work on hitting 4000 in 2011.