Shifting Focus


Monday: 45min upper body

Tuesday: 5.6m “race pace” workout

(^ Race Pace progression workout. 1 mile warm up 9:05, 1 mile marathon pace 8:45, 1 mile half marathon pace 7:35, 1 mile 10k pace 7:08, 1 mile 5k pace 6:40, half mile cool down. Very fun workout I pulled from a RW magazine. Very interesting to feel pacing for different distances.)

I still haven’t picked out any races, but i can say that I’ve enjoyed taking the stress out of running right now. There’s always pressure to preform well during a race, especially to hit time goals. I might run a 5k for fun this winter, but honestly i’m ready to put in the time to cross-train and build mileage to set up for a healthy spring. Winter is all about maintaining…and pumpkin pie.


I would love/like/hope/willsitonsantaslapandaskfor a sub-20 5k and a 1:30 half marathon next year. Hitting these goals in the past has been difficult since I’m constantly training for several races at a time. Just because we “run” doesn’t mean we can run well at each distance. I think somewhere along the lines of blogging and personal expectations we forget that the 5k, 10k, half and full are completely different races with different training cycles.


The Chicago Marathon was the kick in the grass I needed to realize that if I want to qualify for Boston and run a marathon 15 minutes faster in the upcoming years, I need to solely focus on marathon specific training. Elite runners don’t run every distance well, how am I supposed to? LIke I said, I think we get caught up in seeing everyone on Instagram or blogs and think we can do it all. Chances are we can’t, especially when running isn’t our full time job.

little  baby deer from my run Sunday

little baby deer from my run Sunday

I’m not trying to be a downer here, just trying to remind myself to take one race distance at a time and put the effort toward one goal at a time. If I want magic to happen and goals to be met in 2015, I need to focus on one thing at a time.

this guy crossed right in front of me

this guy crossed right in front of me

So far, and this can change on a whim i’m sure—I’d like to focus on my 5k goal in the spring and the half goal in the fall. That way I’m not squeezing several goals into 2-3 months just to buy into a race. The 5k will be a different type of training for sure, but I can take a few go’s at it since recovery is faster. Then after my normal June low-mileage month,  I can focus on 1-2 fall half marathons, again to have more than one shot to hit my time goal.

no, i will not stop wearing my favorite sweater :)

no, i will not stop wearing my favorite sweater 🙂

OH and I passed the 1000 mile mark for this year 🙂 feeling good!

Last Week

Monday: 4m trail run  9:17/pace

Tuesday: 6.5m easy 8:35/pace, 1hr TRX full body workout

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 5.4m easy 8:25/pace, 40min triceps/shoulders, low back

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 20min back workout

Sunday: 8m easy 8:16/pace

Total Miles: 23.9

What do you guys think? Is it a good idea to take a break from the marathon and focus on speed?

Author: She's Going the Distance


12 thoughts on “Shifting Focus

  1. I completely understand the need to focus on speed. Whenever I’ve been marathon training, I’ve noticed my short, fast runs get a little slower.

  2. Where are you running? Ive been running at Lake Elkhorn in Columbia but thats getting old. I have an 8k next Sunday morning at the Baltimore Zoo if your looking for something easy/fun/cheap 🙂

    • Hey Jennifer! I’m running near my gym on the Matthew Henson trail, I would run but I have a lot to do before thanksgiving week. Keep me updated for races though, i’ll definitely run on a whim 🙂

  3. Here are two awesome articles that I love to answer your question:

    I think taking a break to focus on ONE specific distance is a great idea! It’s easy to get caught up in the “run all the races” ideal with Instagram making us feel like losers. But I think setting goals and actually hitting them is way better than looking good for social media. Good luck!

  4. I have said that the 5K scares me, because everything I do is about plodding out the miles … and you are NOT being a ‘downer’, but a realist. It is a very smart and astute observation.

    I think that many people buy into the hype that running is a progression – that a 10K is ‘better’ than a 5K, a half is better than that but is really just a ‘Jr. Marathon’, so ultimate everyone should be pushing for the marathon. That is just stupid. It is like saying ‘pitcher, catcher, hitter … it is all just baseball!’

    I think your plan for the year sounds solid … I am hoping to get out and do a couple of races next year, and definitely have a 5K (or the Corning Glassfest 5 miler) be one of them. I know between one kid starting college and another being a senior on college tours it will be another crazy year, but I can still hope 🙂

  5. I am thinking of taking a break from the marathon next year, but we’ll see! I think I always say that and then I run one and want to start training again. I do want to focus on training for a half which will be my spring focus I think. I can’t imagine just training for a 5k…I guess I am just not familiar at all with how that type of training would look!

  6. I like your plan. And you’re right – those different race paces feel so different. I’ve only ever run one 5K race and it was so painful! I think if you work on your speed and keep up your mileage up you will rock those fall marathons. Good luck!

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