CIM 2016: Training Recap & Looking Ahead

OK, last post about CIM and then I’m moving on. I wanted to write a quick run-down of my training – basic numbers, what was good, and what was bad. Then, I’ll write a quick blurb about what’s ahead.

First, the numbers:

Total mileage: 476.5 miles
Average weekly mileage (12 weeks): 39.7
Workouts skipped/missed: 2 skipped + 1 significantly altered (95.7% completion rate)

As I’ve mentioned before, I followed a plan from You (Only Faster) that called for running 4-5 days a week. I generally enjoyed the structure of the plans. Tuesday usually alternated between a long-ish time-based run and fartleks. Thursdays were the workout days. And then there were the long runs, which were scheduled for Sundays but I often had to switch them to Saturdays.

What I did well this training cycle:

  • Very high completion rate and did a decent job sticking to prescribed paces/workouts
  • Consistent mileage from week to week
  • Didn’t get injured/mostly healthy
  • Maintained motivation throughout, despite feeling burned out at times
  • A lot of road-specific training
  • Worked on mental toughness during long runs where I struggled

What could have been better:

  • No cross-training or strength training
  • No rolling, massage, or stretching (my calves were sooooo tight)
  • Nutrition went to crap about halfway through
  • Sleep – could have gone to bed earlier or been more flexible about moving my runs to the afternoon to get more sleep
  • Didn’t run any hills for a majority of my training all year

What to do next time (if and when):

  • Train for the course
  • Eat better
  • Sleep better
  • Quality over quantity when it comes to mileage
  • Go in more motivated/less burned out
  • Strength train and cross train during base building

While I was disappointed with my performance at CIM, I honestly don’t feel any of the regret/anger that I felt after Marine Corps in 2013. Sure, I think about what I could’ve done differently, but then I look at my training spreadsheet and think, “Man, that’s a *solid* training cycle.” (As a reference, I averaged about 35 miles/week while training for MCM in 2013, with significantly less race pace and tempo workouts.)  When I try to look for signs or indicators of a bad race day, I can only see two things: (1) that the Berkeley Half shouldn’t have felt as hard as it did, and (2) that my last long run also shouldn’t have felt as hard as it did (headwind or no). Maybe that cold I got 4 weeks out had residual effects? Who knows.

So, what’s next? Well, one thing I definitely thought about during CIM was how I should’ve done more strength work. In general, I kinda abandoned everything – cross training, strength training, rolling, stretching- for running. In a weird way, I’m glad that I didn’t do so well at CIM because it showed me that I had become a one-dimensional athlete, and that’s not who I want to be. My main goal (and why I run) is to be healthy for as long as possible. To do that, I need to be a well-rounded person, fitness-wise. That’s why I’m going to start doing non-running activities again (yoga, spinning, etc.) and head back to the trails. I’m thinking of taking on the Brazen Ultra Half Series in 2017 as my goal (it already started in November, but goes until Sept. 2017). To complete the series, you have to run at least 5 of the 14 toughest half marathons the Brazen puts on. It culminates with the toughest of them all – Rocky Ridge, boasting almost 4000′ elevation gain!

Yesterday, I started my journey back on the trails with Cathryn at Inside Trail’s Woodside Ramble 10K. We’ve both been looking for more joy in our running, so we decided to take it easy and run together (and walk whenever we felt like it). It was such a pleasure to run along the beautiful single track with a good friend, and 10K was the perfect distance to be out there. I’m looking forward to running more trail soon!


You can tell we weren’t in “race mode” because neither of us would normally stop in the middle of a race for a photo op. Thanks to our fellow friendly runner who offered to take a photo of us!



Howdy! My name is Jen and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I like to eat, run, and blog, but not usually at the same time.

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One comment on “CIM 2016: Training Recap & Looking Ahead
  1. Mike says:

    YES, the Ultra Half Series is a great idea! I had so much fun running it in 2012 because (as you know) Brazen and their peeps are the best, the courses are diverse & challenging, and the competitive aspect is still there because the winners get giant checks at the end, so they’re always updating the standings. And the last race in the series is the best of them all: every trail runner should run—check that, *experience*—the beast that is Rocky Ridge at least once. Living in the Bay Area, I can’t think of a better way to re-energize and rediscover your love of racing.

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4/28/19: London Marathon

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