2015, the year of the half

Staying injury-free for some time now (largely due to a little luck, regular core/stability work and hitting on the right training approach for me) and having a decent First Half time on what was really a mini 8-10 week training cycle, I’m kind of buoyed for the year ahead.

I never got around to writing a full First Half race report, so a quick preface to say that it was pretty good. I was hoping, if everything went perfectly, I’d get back under 1:30. However, I did fade somewhat and had a couple really slow kms in the final 3-4, so I didn’t quite hit that goal. However, coming in at 1:31 was pretty decent. In fact, being as spotty as I’ve been in recent years, that’s probably the best half I’ve run in the past 3-4 years.

Analyzing my Strava splits, I kept things reasonable at the beginning, hitting 5k at 21:07. My 2nd 5k split of 21:00 shows me picking up the pace a little through the mid-way point of the race. My 3rd 5k split of 21:21 shows me still holding steady but just beginning to slip. My 4th 5k split jumped :39 for 22:00, and I was really slow coming back up to Beach Avenue from the Seawall, clocking a 4:45 for the final 1.1k. As I haven’t had a lot of long runs with a hard finishing kick, fixing this is just a matter of more work in that area.

What’s Next?

Running-wise, I’m dubbing 2015 “the year of the half” and will focus on getting my time down at that distance. I have 4-5 races of that distance planned. A PB is a pretty aggressive goal, so for now I’ll just focus on getting back under 1:30 and go from there. The following schedule is what I’d call fairly firm through the end of June, though I’m not presently sure if I’ll do the St. Patrick’s Day 5k. That’s primarily due to getting sidetracked in the 2nd half of February on a project which halted most of my run/bike time. I may still do it to see where I am on a shorter run, but I’ll decide based on how some of my harder runs go in the next week. Also, all my training paces are based on a 5k race time, so that may be a good enough reason to see how hard I can push it.

A few notes on this … I’m still looking for a good half in August (preferably that isn’t Seawheeze), as presently I’ve only got the Richmond Oval 10k on August 17th, and the 150k Tour de Victoria in my sights for the month. I’m sort of on the fence about the 10k races I have sprinkled throughout. July is fairly cycling heavy with a choice to make on July 18/19. At this point, October and November are totally up in the air, with just some options listed, and a couple middle distance trail events for the year round things out. I’ll only spend the money for Victoria if I’ve decided to do a marathon again, otherwise I’ll do the R&R Half a little later in the month.

The schedule

15 February — First Half (1:31:05)
14 March — St. Patricks’s Day 5k (broke from training)
29 March — Pacific Populaire 100k road ride (awful weather)
12 April — Fool’s Run Half (calf strain)
24 May — Iron Knee 24k trail run
19 June — Longest Day 10k
28 June — Scotiabank Half
1 July — Canada Day Populaire 145k road cycling
19 July — Valley Granfondo 160k road cycling
17 August — Richmond Oval 10k
23 August — Tour de Victoria 150k road cycling
19 September — Eastside 10k
11 October — Victoria Marathon
18 October — Around the Lake 30k trail run
25 October — Vancouver R&R Half/Cunningham
November? — Boundary Bay Full/Half
30 November — Vancouver Historic Half Vancouver