My (Tentative) 2018 Running Plans

On Saturday I posted my 2017 running year in review. It wasn’t my finest year to say the least. The only race I did was a 5K for fun at the end of April, and the last long run I did was 8 miles back in FEBRUARY. That’s almost a year ago now which means building my endurance back up is going to be a challenge.

It’s a challenge I am excited to face head on though. I cannot wait to be cleared to run again and to start building up my base.

I see my doctor today and hope he’ll take my stitches out and clear me but I’m mentally prepared for a longer wait just in case. Seems like every time I think I’m going to get cleared I don’t so I’m trying to keep my expectations in line this time.

Whether or not I get cleared today, a week from today or a month from today my 2018 goals will pretty much be the same:

1. Build base.
2. Get strong/feel strong.
3. Increase distance/start training.
4. Run London or Paris marathon 2019.

I was hoping I might get in a 5K or two before this season ends, and I still might, but I’m not planning on it. If I do run them it will obviously just be for fun (and because I’m excited to increase my distance to 3.1).

January – April
Base Building Phase 1

My focus for the early part of the year will be to build up a solid base (5 to 6 miles) and most importantly to feel strong running those miles. Having been through this whole “beginner runner” phase before I feel like I bring some extra wisdom this time around that I didn’t have before.

When I was first learning to build mileage I was obsessed with distance even if that meant I was practically dead by the time I got to the end of the mileage I set out for.

When I started working with a coach for the first time back in 2013 she made take my mileage back down, work on my form and get to the point where I felt strong and confident increasing my mileage.

I will make sure I do that on my own this time around.

If I’m able to get back up to 6 miles quick-ish then I’ll work on speed a little bit, but primarily this phase is about base building.

I’m also going to work a lot on lifting heavy during this time period. Since I won’t be super concerned about speed or distance it won’t matter too much if I’m sore during my runs.

May – July
Base Building Phase 2

During the summer months I want to start increasing my distance into double digits.

I’d like to go from 6 miles in May up to half marathon distance if I can by the end of July, or at least as close to 13.1 as feels comfortable.

I won’t worry about speed at all during this phase because these are the hottest months of the year. I’ll just be happy to get my endurance back to where I’d like it to be.

The reason why I want to get my distance up into the double digits during this time period is because I’d like to run a strong half marathon in November.

August – October
Half Marathon Training

When late summer sets in I want to start training for a fall half marathon, probably the Fort Lauderdale Half. It was my first half marathon EVER which makes it feel appropriate to also be my first half marathon after a really long break.

Plus, home court advantage.

Of course at this point I don’t have any time goals for this half marathon. Just the idea of running a half marathon at any speed makes me giddy right now!

December – March 
Marathon Training

If you’ll notice I left November out of this calendar. That’s because I plan to give myself a month long break after all the base building I’ll be doing during the first part of the year. I’m not going to stop running in November but I’ll be taking it very easy. This will be a time for a mental and physical break from training.

Come December I will start training for either the London or Paris marathon. I’m putting my name in for London again but if I don’t get in I’m going to sign up for Paris.

Of course this is all provided the rest of the year goes to plan, which there’s always the chance that it won’t. I mean look at this year and how very far I got thrown off course!

Notes on Plan and Goals:

It may sound crazy to be planning out my entire 2018 when I’m not even cleared to run yet. I totally get that, but I’ve had A LOT of time this year to think about my comeback to running and I know what I want out of it.

I want to run another marathon so badly. Especially after having to take all of this time off. Distance running is truly a privilege and I want to take advantage of it, so getting back to that distance is my goal.

I thought about making my primary goal to PR the half marathon. Of course that is a noble goal and something I also really want. However, I am basically starting back at the beginning with my running and we all know trying to increase distance and pace at the same time can be a recipe for injury.

That being said, increasing distance naturally increases pace. I ran my current half marathon PR right after the Portland Marathon so I know that’s a formula that works. That’s why I think making my focus the marathon is the right goal for me in 2018.

Cross your fingers for me that I get cleared to run today or at least by the end of the year… preferably today!

Have you thought about your 2018 running goals yet?
Planning to run a full marathon next year?
Anyone out there run the Paris Marathon?

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  1. December 11, 2017 / 5:04 am

    I hope you get cleared to run soon! I’ve been doing some planning for next year too but Im too nervous to commit to any races yet. I don’t think I will do a full in 2018, because Id rather focus on shorter distances and staying healthy. I cant wait to see what 2018 brings for you!

    • Kristina
      December 12, 2017 / 8:13 am

      Thanks Lisa! Unfortunately didn’t get cleared yesterday but my doctor says we are in the homestretch now!

  2. December 11, 2017 / 5:53 am

    I am crossing all of my fingers and toes for you, Kristina! I know you have had a lot of time to think about what you want to do and it is really exciting that you want to run an international marathon! Text me today when you know what’s up.

    • Kristina
      December 12, 2017 / 8:14 am

      Thanks Megan! Wish i got cleared but at least I’m in the home stretch now. After all the waiting I’ve done this year I can probably make it another week or so without going totally crazy 🙂

  3. December 11, 2017 / 8:13 am

    This is so exciting! It’s great that you have the spin bike now, too. Any type of cross training will give you a heads up whenever the doctor clears you!

    • Kristina
      December 12, 2017 / 8:15 am

      Exactly! Since I didn’t get cleared yesterday I was extra glad that I bought the spin bike the other day 🙂

  4. December 11, 2017 / 8:14 am

    That’s a great 2018 plan and I really hope everything falls into place. I have most of next year mapped out as well. I’m aiming for marathons in the Spring and Fall, half marathons and Ragnar Relays sprinkled in throughout training to keep me motivated, and an open water swimming event to keep me focused on cross training.
    I’m hoping to get into London for 2019 also. Fingers crossed for both of us!

    • Kristina
      December 12, 2017 / 8:16 am

      Thanks LeAnne! I hope we both find ourselves traveling to London in 2019!

  5. December 11, 2017 / 3:50 pm

    All the best and hope you will successfully execute the plan.

    • Kristina
      December 12, 2017 / 8:16 am

      Thanks Prateek! I appreciate your support!

  6. December 13, 2017 / 9:54 am

    Saw that you weren’t cleared to run at your latest appointment, but hopefully soon. Fingers crossed for you!

    I ran a similar plan year long plan this year, though I was coming back from a much shorter running break than you. I even planned a break between my half marathon and the start of my marathon training. It really helped to be able to back off and mentally relax for a bit. One thing that I noticed over the year was that I would have several weeks or even a few months where I could tell I was constantly improving and gaining endurance. And then I’d plateau and feel like I wasn’t getting anywhere. So if you find yourself in a similar position next year, remember to just be patient during those weeks and you’ll have another break through soon 🙂

  7. December 13, 2017 / 5:27 pm

    Such great plans and goals for the upcoming year, Kristina. I really hope you get to achieve all that. Wish you a wonderful year. 😉

  8. December 16, 2017 / 1:48 pm

    This is the first year I decided to plan out my running. Usually I just pick random races. 😛 BUT I’m trying to get more serious about my running, so I’ve decided to make sure I’m prepared. My second marathon this year was a disaster, so I’m hoping to redeem myself in 2018. Horse Capital Marathon, here I come!