After a rather long (and unintentional) blogging break, I am finally back.

After finishing my marathon in October I was tired but so incredibly proud of what I accomplished. I not only finished the race but also completed my 30-day blog challenge and I don’t regret a thing about either.

Even though the UofC Marathon Program doesn’t run through the winter, I am pleased to share that I still did!

Here’s a short recap of what I’ve been up to over the last few months:

Saturday runs

I am happy to report that I kept running on Saturday mornings with a lot of members of the group, which really helped keep my motivation levels up and helped me to maintain my cardio fitness. I had worked so hard to get in the shape I was in that there was no way I was going to let myself slip over the winter.

Strength, Speed and Stamina

The first class I joined for the winter was a Strength, Speed and Stamina running course with UofC Marathon Training Program head coach, Colleen Parsons. This class was 13 weeks long and each week built on the previous with the ultimate goal of increasing our speed and stamina during a time when we weren’t necessarily working on distance training.

In January we started with a timed 3km run on the track at the university, which we planned to compare to a timed 3km run at the end of the course. Over the 13 weeks we worked on strength building on the stairs, then moved on to speed and stamina with a series of sprint repeats on the track at our goal race paces. For a bunch of marathoners, timed 400+ metre repeats are a pretty big challenge but near the end of the course I think all of us could really feel ourselves building capacity that we didn’t have previously.

This will absolutely be a course I do again next year. (Hopefully next year I will actually be able to finish it! … But more on that later).

Strength Training

I’ve heard from a lot of runners that a little bit of strength training can go a long way when it comes to improving race times. So over the winter I joined a core and strength training class with one of the marathon training program coaches and long-time member, Jennifer de Cocq.

The once a week class is a mix of circuit training and short cardio hits that is hard to explain because it’s different every single time. That’s actually one of the things I love about it. If you are looking to really increase your overall strength and fitness level this is a great place to start. Jen is a great instructor and motivator and I really enjoyed her class over the winter.

Looking forward

That brings us to now. The UofC Marathon Training Program is in full swing, having started at the beginning of March. We have a HUGE group this year with lots of new members, which is super exciting for everyone.

However, my excitement has been dampened by my very first running injury.

Over the next week look out for posts about what you can expect to see on the blog this year (now that I’ve finished my first marathon), and about how I managed to injure myself. But unfortunately that’s all I can leave you with today.