Have I plataeu'd?

5 months ago, I ran a local half marathon in just over 1hr 30. Last Sunday, I was on target to do pretty much the same before the stitch set in.

So, with 5 months of 25-35 miles a week under my belt, including lots of hills, I don't appear to have improved significantly. This is concerning me a little!

I'm wondering if my training has been at fault. Whilst I've been doing weekly speedwork and long runs, I have done as much cross training over the summer as I did over the winter. So, I'm thinking that a refocus on cross training at least once a week will help build strength and give my muscles something to deal with which isn't running.

Given the law of diminshing returns, I'm also wondering whether I've just reached a point where I need to do quite a bit more mileage each week to gain that extra speed.

I'm glad to say that stamina doesn't seem to be an issue any more as my legs were as strong at 11 miles as they were at 3 on Sunday, so I think it's really about improving speed.

More speedwork might help, but I don't think that's necessarily the answer as most training plans recommend only one such session a week.

Despite not having reached my goal of 1hr 30 for this year, next year's target is going to be 1hr 25, and 17min for the 10k. So how am I going to get there ?

Here's the strategy so far:

  • Cross train for at least 1.5hr a week (mix of elliptical trainer and cycling)
  • Resume weekly speedwork sessions at the gym and build on them
  • Do a 20-30 minute run each week at aerobic/anaerobic threshold (this is usually just flat out)
  • Get some more races under my belt without worrying about times
  • Join a club! Yes, really, I'm thinking that it might give me more incentive over the winter, and maybe they'll have a coach who can help me develop.
Of course, that's just today's strategy. Tomorrow's may involve eating pizza, drinking more beer and fitting in a run whenever I can :)

I'm determined to get off the plateau though as I'm sure I have a 1hr 20 half marathon and 35min 10k in me. They are my 2007 goals!

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