8 Things I Learned From the 2011 Training/Racing Season: Night 8 - Your "A" Race Does Not Have to be a Marathon
There's no question about it, the marathon is a challenge. It requires weeks of intense training, lots of miles in all sorts of conditions, time away from family, and, admit it, your social life suffers as well. For all of these reasons, many of us will only consider a marathon for their "A" race. For those of you that don't know, an "A" race is THE race (or races) that your pour your heart and soul into all in the name of a new PR.
I wrote on Night 1 that going forward, I'm limiting myself to 1 marathon per year. That doesn't mean that once I run the marathon, I take the rest of the year off. What it does mean is that I get to focus on improving at a shorter distance race or try something new, like a duathlon. When I ran the Pocono Marathon in the spring of 2010, my fall "A" race was a 10k. Training for a 10k is much different than a marathon. The long runs are shorter but there are more mile repeats and tempo runs. I smoked the 10k and set a new PR. Best part was, I wasn't as physically and mentally drained as I am after a marathon. I feel the same way after a half marathon. It's long enough that it's a challenge but it's short enough that you can push yourself harder than in a marathon.
So what are my "A" races for 2012? Spring is still undecided. I'd like to train hard for a half marathon and I'd also like a duathlon. My fall "A" race will be Marine Corps Marathon.
There you have it, 8 Crazy Nights of Blogging in the Can! In case you missed any of them, here are the links again:
For the last time this year: