Training for the 2018 BolderBoulder is going to look a lot different for me than last year’s BB10k training. Over the past 3 years, I have chronicled my love for this event as well as my quest to join the Sub-40 club, or what I have dubbed the Over 40, Under 40 (over 40 years old, under 40 minute 10k) Club. After narrowly missing the Sub 40 mark at the 2016 BB10k (running 40:10), I had a singular, year long goal last year that culminated in a euphoric 39:52 race.

In 2017, a late March 1/2 Marathon kept my training on track all throughout the winter, and the longer runs really seemed to pay off. This year, a few minor injuries coupled with some poor dietary decisions–and another year older–have set my training back a bit. As we sit 6 weeks away from the 40th running of the BolderBoulder, I sit 7 pounds heavier than I was last year, and 9 miles ranks as my longest run in over 6 months.

So I’m taking a new approach to this year’s training. I like to follow the training plan created by Revolution Running specifically for the BolderBoulder. It gives me a great idea of what I should be doing each day. This year, I’m making my easy days truly easy. I can comfortably run 5-7 miles at a 7:15-7:30 pace and call that an easy day. My heart rate, however, was telling me something different as it would hover in the mid to high 160’s during those runs.

Now, I set the HR alarm on my Garmin Forerunner 235 to alert me whenever I exceed 142BPM. This has been a massive struggle, mentally more than anything. When I first began this training about 4 weeks ago, I was running 3 miles at around a 10:15/mi pace. My stride felt off, my pride felt off, it all felt off. While still not totally settled in, I am now running between 5-6 miles on my easy days around an 8:45/mi pace. While my mind is still screaming at me that I’m not doing enough, my body is really recovering well and I’m doing more miles as a result. I’ve averaged over 25 miles/wk the past 4 weeks, whereas the same 4 weeks last year I averaged only 21 mi/wk. I believe I’ll be able to comfortably raise that as I move forward with a fully rested body.

Running is so simplistic, yet technology is allowing us to monitor more elements of our training than ever before. My intention is to begin adding some long runs into my week, and in addition to my HR monitor keeping me at the right pace, I’ve found that¬†¬†Clif Bloks fit easily in my water bottle pouch and really give me a great deal more energy and prevent me from “bonking” late in my runs.

I’m excited to test this new approach to training, and seeing if the slower runs will still allow for a Sub-40 run at 43 years old. Any tips or advice you have for me in this arena is welcome!