i'm trying to maintain a base until mid-january of about 50-60km per week, with a view to ramping up my next marathon training schedule to peak in and around 110-120km. in some conversation with my pal stan i've come to believe that i'm one of those runners who is better suited to more mileage in preparation for races. i've managed to run injury-free for about 3-1/2 years now, topping out at about 3700km (projected) this calendar year. hopefully the winter conditions in south-central ontario this season won't be too daunting as i press on through the holidays.
one of the things that i've started doing in the last few weeks is running with a group. as a noted introvert, i've mostly enjoyed solo runs - and when i run with a partner it's usually been as a deliberate means of keeping my pace easy (often with mike) or up (often with trevor) - i've written about this already in a post earlier this spring. but the barrie roadrunners are the local running club and their outings coincide with the running room's free training runs, so i thought that it would be a good opportunity to connect with others in the local running community and try to unlock the secret that the east african runners have known for a long time.
it's only been a couple of runs with the group so far, but i've already got a few observations to share:
- it's providing me with the experience of running at a different time of the day. normally i wake up around 5:30am to go out for my run (no matter the time of the year), but this group sets out at 6:30pm - so my biorhythms are completely different, my energy level is different, and i have to be a little more aware of how i'm fuelling throughout the day. i can't say that i'll convert to nighttime running, but it's a welcome variation in the schedule.
- in-run conversations have offered some interesting personalities and running tips. while i've already been identified as the 'chatty-cathy' new guy, it's been great how personable and generous the other runners have been with their stories and advice. already i've met someone from my hometown who's migrated here to barrie, as well as a veteran ultramarathoner who has shared insights and training tips as i plan for my first trail ultra next summer.
- there's no way that i would be working this hard right now without them. the last two runs have been tempo runs with the group, and while i probably fall smack dab in the middle of the bunch in terms of age, they're hoofing it at a really solid pace. it's been a great way to maintain decent stride form during this off-season while reminding myself that i'm not losing too much of an edge from my racing speed.
are you a pack runner? what recommendations do you have for me to help me get the most out of (and contribute the most back into) this running group?