2013 Triathlon Season In Review: The Run

I completed my first 5k.

I completed my first 5k.

Last April 2012, the run was the ground zero starting point of my now completed first year as a runner and a triathlete.  In those initial days as I delved into madness, first deciding to run a 5k and not much later a season of triathlons, the run was my entrance into athletics.  For the entirety of my life I had been told I was not meant to be an athlete or a runner.  Thus I never tried and resigned myself to a life on the couch, in front of the television.  But all that changed and by October of last year I ran my first 5k race within 45-50 minutes.  Within a few more months I progressed and had ran a few more.  None of  those races were fast as I hovered around 45 minutes per race.  I was learning though how to be a better runner.  As I took up the triathlon mantle I had to learn how to mix other elements into my workouts,  namely bike and swim.  

My phase breakdown of miles and time running.  Each phase was a month and started last October.

My phase breakdown of miles and time running. Each phase was a month and started last October.

While my focus this year included lots of running as well as triathlons, one of my goals for the year involved running a six race series of 5k races.  This last weekend I finished the sixth and final race of that series.  The one thing I did not plan for this year was the growth in distances.  I figured I would possible be able to finish a 10k by years end, but I had no idea a 15k and a half marathon were possible.  Overall I believe I put together a solid body of work in the running end of things this year.

My race numbers for the season.

My running race numbers for the season.

Looking at the 5k races I feel I improved a bit, bringing my overall time down from 45 minutes to 39-41 minutes.  I would have liked to see a larger reduction in racing time, but unlike swimming and biking, I feel I made allot of mistakes in training for the run, not to mention the added difficulty of training for swimming and biking as well.  

Plotting of my finish times for my 5k races with a down ward trend line.

Plotting of my finish times for my 5k races with a down ward trend line.

I think my biggest issue with running was learning and figuring out what methods work for me in training.  I am not sure if I have this one nailed down yet, but the extra focus on running in my current off season has given me some great insights in generating my next years training plan.  Overall I tried some things that worked and abandoned other things that did not work.  The year was a big learning experience.   

Now and Then.  The left picture was from my last 5k race and the one on the right is from my first 5k race in October.

Now and Then. The left picture was from my last 5k race and the one on the right is from my first 5k race in October.

Along the way I focused allot on trying to shore up my base and even focused too much on getting faster.  Next year the focus needs to be on overall solid volume with a simple plan aimed at the basics.  When I started running I worked my way up to running for 45 minutes without stopping.  As I got faster I had a hard time adjusting to the added speed and pacing and often found I wore my self out prematurely and had to pepper in walk breaks even on the smallest runs.  As I see it, for 5k and 10k runs I need a fundamental base of endurance that will allow me to run non-stop. 

Finishers medal and long sleeve tech shirt.  Finished my first half marathon.

Finishers medal and long sleeve tech shirt. Finished my first half marathon.

I realize now that this season was really about learning about my abilities as a runner and how I respond to physical stress and adaptation.  If I am going to have a great 2014 with stronger running performances in my running races and triathlons, I am now at the point where I will need to push myself and further develop the base level of fitness needed to go to the next level.  I realize now that I was not ready for this push at the beginning of this program and even the beginning of this year as I had so much to learn to get myself to a level that allowed for harder training now and next year.  So next year I push past the basic beginner athlete and push forward with improvement as the centerpiece goal.

While my running performance was not as good as it should have been, for a first year I am happy with the progress I have made.  Last October I ran my first 5k and by the end of 2013 now I have ran numerous 5k running races and even finished my first half marathon.  While I am hard on myself with a strong desire to get fundamentally more sound in my running program,  I did have a great first season with some decent solid numbers.  With a season under my belt and some numbers to explore, I can not put together a program for next year with realistic, solid and achievable goals.  

Til next time.

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3 comments

  1. Awesome update. 2014 is going to be even better and more rewarding for you.

    1. I am thinking so. It helps I have numbers to start with and I can make a good plan based on those numbers. Thanks for coming along on this crazy trip.

  2. […] 2013 Triathlon Season In Review: The Run (chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com) […]

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