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Marathon to 5k: A Running Refresh

17 May
2017

Ahh the face in that picture, right? The beautiful suck of running a hard-fought 5k.

In my last post I mentioned how I was ready to step back from Boston and experience races in other places.  In reality, I am taking a step back from marathons and I’m really excited about it! I ran 3 marathons in the last year and I am both burnt out on them and ready to take a break from their toll on my body. I also ran two of them because I was convinced by other people, and I have come to realize that you cannot be convinced to run a marathon, it has to be a choice.  Sure, friends can give you encouragement, support, and help you believe in yourself…but marathons require too much dedication and emotion to be convinced to endure one.   I’ve decided that unless its a World Major I haven’t yet run or one of my bucket list races, I won’t be doing any random marathons. That means my next goal is NYC in 2018. And that is ONLY if I am able to qualify by running a sub-32:00 half marathon in Rehoboth Beach, DE in December.  So definitely  a whole 18 months away from the marathon, maybe more 🙂

Sometimes hitting the refresh button is exactly what we need to find new inspiration, or fall in love with our sport all over again.  The daily grind can become stale and having NEW goals is a huge motivator. That brings me to my new goals. My first and true love is the 5k.  I won’t go into detail as you can read all about that in my Humble Run-ginnings post, but I started with Cross Country and the 5k was my first distance experience beyond sprinting in Junior High track.  So when you need to hit refresh, why not go back to the roots?

That’s exactly what I’m doing and I really have Runner’s World magazine (RW) to thank for making the decision. I was thinking about focusing on speed over the summer as the heat and humidity in DC really get to me, and I would rather go short and fast than slog out long mileage in miserable weather. I was thinking about the 5k because I was feeling an itch for it. But I didn’t have an actual plan. Then I came across an article in RW about transitioning from marathon to 5k. Sounded perfect! THEN, in the June 2017 issue RW did a special on crushing a 5k..including a detailed 10-week training plan, tips on approaches to race day, and exercises to improve stability. THEN, guess what is 10 weeks away? The Potomac River Running Birthday Bash 5k on July 23rd.  Two days before MY birthday. Well, that was settled.  Thanks for putting that plan in my lap, literally! The universe has aligned.

I tweaked the plan a little to accommodate a few other races.  Of course, I won’t give up lifting either, so where RW says “cross-train” I lift and/or elliptical. For authenticity sake you get a photo of the actual plan I wrote out on a sheet of printer paper 😉  It involves going hard on the hard days, but taking the time for rest in between. Twice a week I will do those stability exercises which focus on improving springiness and your body’s ability to bounce back from the hard impact of a fast road race.  This plan is applicable for anyone, beginner to advanced.  I used the intermediate to advanced distances for my speed work and the intermediate distances for my long runs.  If you have any questions about the adjustments you would make, feel free to contact me or, if you don’t mind purchasing the magazine, check out the Runner’s World article!

The Plan

For anyone who follows me I will be sharing updates on Instagram from the training and my two “check-in” 5ks along the way.  The Celebrate Fairfax 5k on June 11th and the Freedom 5k on July 2nd. They are both on the same course as the Birthday Bash so I can really see how effective this plan is! The course is hilly, so I don’t expect a PR but I do hope to see improvement over those three races. My PR is a 19:01 set on a very flat course in October 2015. In 2016, which included two marathons, I ran three 5k and they were all just over 20:00. The fastest was the race from the photo up top, ALSO on the same course as my three races this summer. SO my goal in all of this is to stay healthy and run under 20:00 again!

Let’s do this!

-Shaina

5 thoughts on “Marathon to 5k: A Running Refresh

  1. Great post! I love that you are doing this and really focusing in on speed. I agree that it’s really good to switch gears so that your body can continue to adapt to new stimuli. I won’t be at any of the races you mentioned, unfortunately but I’ll be cheering you from afar!

  2. Nice blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere? A design like yours with a few simple tweeks would really make my blog shine. Please let me know where you got your design. Appreciate it

    1. This theme is through WordPress, I didn’t design anything! When you use the WordPress Platform there are a ton of free ones to choose from 🙂

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