I think I sound like a broken record when I say that this week was another step up in mileage and intensity. I guess most weeks are going to be like that for awhile. And, I couldn’t be happier about that! Coming off of a great race and then some reduced training has me really motivated to work hard and put in the work for Boston! For Rocket City, I had a longer time to build up. It’s a shorter turnaround with Boston and I want to make as much progress as I can in the meantime!
Because I am training hard and very motivated to make progress before Boston, I’m trying to take my easy days and recovery as seriously as possible. I was going to try to lump all the things I do to stay on top of my recovery in this post but it was getting long fast. So another post coming on rest and recovery soon!
This week started off freezing cold, again. I was a little discouraged by last week’s short, hilly tempo in the sub-10 degree weather. This week, I had one more workout in the extreme temps but then things warmed up a bit. I am really not taking 30 degree days for granted right now! These days that almost feels balmy!
Monday: 3 miles very easy in the morning; 6 miles easy with 4x30s pick ups in the afternoon. I took the day off from work since I had worked MLK Day. I am running a 5k this Saturday and was near the course in the morning so I decided to jog the course for my morning run just to get a feel for it. Both runs this day felt good.
Tuesday: 3 miles warm up with strides, 16×1:00 on/off (start around 10k effort and ramp it up), 2 miles cool down. This was a bump from last week’s fartlek of 10×1:00 on/off. Scott told me to run this one by effort and not pay attention to the watch because of the extreme cold this day. I think it was about 12 degrees. I started around 6:20 pace on my fast sections and worked down to sub 6 pretty early on. I didn’t mean to speed up that quickly but alas. I felt smooth at first but about halfway in, I started to experience lactic acid build up in my legs. This was a really odd feeling for me because I hardly ever deal with that to this degree-even in my toughest track workouts! Towards the end of the workout, my legs were locking up by the end of each minute which made it hard to keep running fast. I finished the workout and didn’t positive split, but it made me worry just how much I had lost in my recovery from Rocket City. That day, I was curious about just how big of a role extreme cold plays in running performance and I found this article which specifically mentions lactic acid: http://runneracademy.com/cold-weather-impact-on-running/. I felt a lot better after reading that. When I looked at my data later, my heart rate averaged in the upper 160s for each interval which confirmed that I really wasn’t working that hard and the perceived difficulty was due primarily to the lactic acid.
Wednesday: 3 miles very easy in the morning, 6 miles easy after work. It was 5 degrees for my morning run. That made it easy to keep to the ‘very easy’ part of my plan. I ended up getting a later start than I wanted to for my evening run. That made me a bit antsy to get it out of the way and that almost always results in the run seeming to take even longer. I was really slow for the 2nd run. The effort felt like a normal easy run effort but it was definitely slower than my usual easy run. I think I was feeling the prior day’s fartlek in my legs.
Thursday: 8 miles with 10 hill blasts; It was 9 degrees for this run and I admit to being pretty disheartened when I checked the weather that morning. I run my hill blasts entirely by effort but I could tell they were slightly slower this week, probably (hopefully) due to the cold.
Friday: 2 mile warm up with strides, 8x800m at 3:10 with 400m jog recovery, 1 mile cool down. In case anyone (dad 🙂 ) isn’t familiar with track workout lingo, that is 8 repeats of 2 times around the track (800 meters, or half a mile) with 1 time around the track (400 meters, or a quarter of a mile) as a jog recovery between each 800 meter interval. I ended up running 2:57, 3:07, 3:07, 3:06, 3:06, 3:06, 3:06, and 3:06. I clearly way overshot the effort on the first one and was able to dial it back for the last ones. 800 workouts used to be my nemesis but the last two I’ve done have been great. This felt like the first real indicator of how my fitness was doing. Since my fartlek on Tuesday and my tempo the week before were done in such extreme temps, I wasn’t sure where my fitness was. This workout felt really good and strong and I felt a bit of a confidence boost that things are heading in the right direction.
Saturday: 19 miles over a hilly route. I’m fairly certain that 19 mile runs are never going to feel like quick little jaunts but they’ve gotten better for me. I have worked hard on being patient with them which actually works to make them pass by more quickly (imagine that!). I ran through some of Nashville’s hilliest neighborhoods which was good as far as the goal of the run was concerned, but it was tough! I got rolling pretty quickly and didn’t ease into the pace like I sometimes do on long runs. The first half I stayed around the 8-8:15 range but moved into the 7:40-7:55 range for the 2nd half. A bit faster than I normally do long runs but still far enough away from marathon pace to not be overdoing it.
Sunday: 6 very easy. I was pretty proud of this run. I took it extremely easy and made sure to keep my heart rate low. My heart rate stayed in the 130s and lower 140s which is perfect for a recovery run. Because I had done a track workout followed by a hilly long run, I wanted to be smart with this run and use it as recovery and not do any more damage. I really prefer active recovery over rest days because I feel like it helps my muscles recover more quickly and I feel less stiff and sore.
Total Mileage For the Week: 73