I'm in between training plans right now. I don't have any major events scheduled until April, and my last half marathon was on October 15th. So, I'm in that funny limbo place right now - maintenance mode. In the beginning, the maintenance phase is refreshing. After training for an event, it's nice to have the freedom to relax a little and not have to worry about getting in a specific number of runs on specific days each week. But, it gets a little boring after a while. I'm definitely someone who does well with a training calendar on my fridge. I like having a goal to move towards...something to prepare for.
So, now that I'm in the midst of a maintenance phase, I'm going to use the time to build up my overall endurance. I have two goals for myself. First, I want to be able to run my half marathon in April much faster than I did last year. I have been holding steady as a 10-minute miler. I want to increase my overall speed so that I'm closer to a 9-minute miler. That means interval training. Since the winter is nasty in Upstate NY, I'm going to be running on the indoor track at work quite often. I'm going to use this to my advantage and do some speed work. Second, I want to build up my overall weekly distance. Right now, my weekly mileage only increases when I'm at the end of a training cycle. I want to build up my weekly mileage so that I'm basically always prepared to run a half marathon. That means running at least 4 times each week, with three, 3 - 5 mile runs and one long run of 9 - 11 miles. I know I can do this, I just have to make it part of my routine.
I also have my sights set on a triathlon in the summer, which I have never done before. So, I'm going to add swimming and spinning to my winter workouts so that I build up a core foundation in those areas before I begin seriously training for the triathlon. I'm nervous and excited about the whole thing, but that's another post for another day.
I think these goals will help keep me focused through the winter. Once the end of January hits, I'll be back in full training mode. I can't wait!