Training for the GW Parkway Classic

My first blog post was about getting ready for the Army Ten Miler in October. Now almost 6 months later to the day (and if it were a leap year, and today was February 29 instead of March 1, it would be 6 months to the day!), I am getting ready for my favorite race, the GW Parkway Classic Ten Miler.

My first running event ever was the 5K race of this event, and when I did the 10 miler the next year, I was hooked. It’s a beautiful course along the GW Parkway from Mt. Vernon (George Washington’s estate) into Old Town. The first mile is mostly downhill, families that live along the route come out to cheer on runners, and the post-race activities are spirited without being overwhelming.

I had such a great time running this race last year that I am a bit worried about this year. Last year will be hard to top emotionally, and I don’t want to set a goal of a faster finish time. Really, I just want to enjoy it as much this year as I did last year. One thing going for me there is that a friend and her daughter will be running it with me. We probably won’t keep the same pace, but it will be fun to have someone to line up with and celebrate with afterwards.

As with the Army Ten Miler, I won’t be following any pre-set training program. Those tend to leave me injured, because I get too concerned about following THE PLAN and ignore things my body is telling me, like “you need a rest day” or “hill sprints are not what your ITB/plantar fascitis/piriformis needs today.”

Really, I won’t do much to change my usual exercise routine, except to work harder to follow my usual exercise routine, which has been derailed recently by injuries and illness.

That means I will run Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Saturday will be my “long run” day, with an 8, 9 and maybe even one 10 mile run over the next 5 weekends, and at least one “step-back” week with a 6 mile “long” run. Once a week I will do either a speed workout or a hill workout. The other day I will do a steady-state run at an easy or moderate pace, depending on how I feel.

Monday, Wednesday and Friday I will do strength training, but I’m not sure if I should stick with my Bob Harper Pure Burn Super Strength DVD. It is heavy on arms and core strength, and I probably would benefit from more exercises that are targeted to running–and preventing common running injuries.

Sunday I will do yoga, because that has been working so well for me. 😉

I also will continue to keep my Runner’s Resolutions, including proper warm-ups, stretching, and foam rolling.

Are you training for a spring race? Are you following a training progam?

Do you have a good strength training routine to support your running?

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12 Responses to Training for the GW Parkway Classic

  1. steena says:

    Seems like you've got a good plan. I wouldn't be concerned with following a plan either, you've done the distance before, it shouldn't be shocking to your body. I never followed a plan for my first half marathon & made it to the finish.
    If you're looking for some good leg strengthening, browse through Runner's World website. I know you're traveling a lot, but a good investment you might benefit from is a resistance band. I put one around my knees and do side steps across the room to target the hips to prevent ITBS. There's a lot you can do with it, and it's easy to pack!

    • Coco says:

      Thanks! That was one of the exercises they had in the new Injury Prevention issue that I plan to try.

      ~ Courtenay

      Sent from my iPhone

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  3. Carly D. @ CarlyBana says:

    Hi! I'm also doing the GW 10 Miler! I had been following a training plan, but like you said I got so caught up in following every work out that I messed up my IT band. Now I'm spending the next 5 weeks getting ready like you are – just running a few days a week and doing strengthening the other days.
    This will be my first 10 miler, and probably not my best, but I hear such good things about the race that I'm still excited 🙂

    • Coco says:

      It really is my favorite event. Lovely course and not too "high pressure" like other DC races can be.

      Good luck with your ITB and keep in touch. 🙂

      Sent from my iPhone

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