Summer Running Plans


We had a blessedly cool and wet May here in Austin, but now June is here, the sun is out, and it’s hot, hot, hot.  In order to keep myself motivated through the heat (plus having kids at home, plus going on vacation, plus the extra work of swim lessons), I decided to enter one of the great American summer road races: Beach to Beacon 10K.

Similar to my experience when I ran Falmouth Road Race two years ago, I wanted to run Beach to Beacon because of its important place in American running history.  It was founded by inaugural women’s Olympic Marathon gold medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson as a way of celebrating running in her hometown of Cape Elizabeth, Maine.  And what started as a small race mostly for locals nearly two decades ago has grown into a race that attracts all of the big names in US distance running.  I never tire of the thrill of racing on the same course on the same day as the best of the best.

Last week I kicked off an eight-week training program in preparation for the race on August 1st.  I chose Hal Higdon’s 10K training plan, blending the intermediate and advanced plans to suit my current state of fitness and my goals for the race.  I’m using the Jeff Horowitz  book Quick Strength for Runners  as the strength component of the training plan.  I’m hoping that these plans will help prepare me to run under 50 minutes….that’s a stretch goal, but why not go for it?!

As part of my training, I want to race a 5K to gauge my progress about halfway through the eight weeks.  I’ve registered for the Freedom 5000 on July 4th, and provided it’s not blazing hot, I’ll be ready to run a respectable race.  I don’t think I’ve raced a 5K in more than 5 years.  While it’s certainly not a challenge to cover the distance, I haven’t tried to run anything with real speed on my legs for a long, long time.  It’s hard to force myself to train faster, but it’s essential if I want to see results on race day.

So far, I’m enjoying the training, and I’m definitely looking forward to my overnight in Maine with my husband later this summer.  To run around picturesque Cape Elizabeth– with some of the best runners in the country– and to enjoy some lobster afterwards…what a great day it will be!

Good health and great happiness to you!


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