Getting Farther And Faster in 2015

After 12 marathon+ distances last year, I know how to finish a 50K or a 50 miler (okay, I’ve done one)  and that has always been the goal going in – to keep smiling, check out the scenery, make new friends, take tons of pictures and celebrate the run with a finish-line IPA. The title of this blog as well my goals for 2015 is totally inspired by Jean Pommier’s blog from 2007Not farther, but fortunately further. At 50 years, Jean’s killing the masters category and recently broke the world record by running 46.73 miles in 5:59:59. Just thinking about that makes me tired. That’s a sustained 7:42 minute/mile pace. Sick.

My running to date hasn’t been goal oriented. The occasional hill repeats and the Kenyan 25-1-1 have been more of a spur of the moment thing. I know subconsciously, I’ve spent more time working on faster descents (see my blog on finding flow) than on hill sprints or intervals. I’ve seen some promising signs this year. Ran a half and a full marathon a year ago at 1:32 and 3:34, finished a 5K in 19:58 and came close to a sub-5:00 at the Skyline 50K. On my occasional 20-mile commute runs, I’ve averaged a 6:57 minute/mile pace going into work, partly because of the gorgeous downhill after mile 3.

While I’m thinking about speed, I’m also bumping up my distances. If you look at my race calendar, I’ve got the Sean O’Brien 50K, the Marin Ultra Challenge 50K, both of which have a 6K+ elevation profile. The American River 50M is going to be immediately followed by the Miwok 100K, my very first 100K. Googling around, it seems that that the fast twitch muscles actually help fight fatigue in the later part of long runs. So getting faster might help me in getting farther?

To be realistic, I’m 43 years old and have been running for a entirety of 3 years. Question to myself is how fast can I get before the wheels come off? Injury free running and having fun is still very much the goal, but, really how fast can a newbie and a late comer like me get? And how exactly does one go about getting faster? Balancing family and work, I’ve always focused on quality over quantity for weekly mileage. And pretty unstructured at that too. It’s going to be an interesting year. But in the end, I’m definitely looking forward to having tremendous fun!

What are your running goals for 2015?