11 days until the Carlsbad Marathon, and I have truly never felt better. I ran 58 miles last week, and while I remember struggling with fatigue on my Thursday 10-miler, I had a day of rest on Friday (if you don't count the P90X yoga that I did...) and I was back to business on Saturday morning. I actually ended up taking 1st female at a local 10k race with about an 80% effort.
I believe that a huge reason for the success of this marathon training cycle has been because I have learned to listen to my body. Additionally, I practice these rules of thumb:
1) My easy runs are EASY.
2) My hard runs are HARD.
3) I DO NOT do two hard days in a row.
Here is what my week in running looks like:
Monday-Recovery day from my long run the day prior. EASY PACE. I run by how I feel. 2 weeks ago, 8:58P felt easy. Last week, 9:03P felt easy. I listen to my body and make sure that I am not breathing hard and that my muscles aren't tight/straining.
Tuesday-Speedwork. My coach gives me a workout to do. Anywhere from 1/2 to 1 mile repeats (I don't really have access to a track at 5:30 am, which is when I usually do this workout). I run these HARD. Right now my goal paces are anywhere from 3:30ish for 1/2 mile to 7:20s for 1 mile. Yesterday I did 3 X 1 mile repeats at 7:19, 7:10. 7:09. Could I have done another one? Yes. I do run HARD, but I always finish feeling like I have one more in me. So I guess HARD doesn't mean RIDICULOUSLY HARD.
Wednesday-Recovery day from speedwork. I don't care what my pace is today. At all. As long as it's EASY. Today I ran almost 7 (went a little long) at 9:30P.
Thursday-Some sort of Tempo run, which my coach calls a "cutback." I'll do a 3 mile warm-up and then do 3-4 miles that look something like this: Mile 4-8:20, Mile 5-8:15, Mile 6-8:10, Mile 7-8:05. Finish up with 2-3 miles of cooldown.
Let's say I have a 10k race on Saturday (like last week). Thursday will then be another EASY day and Saturday will be my replacement for a speed day.
Friday-DAY OF REST.... PRAISE GOD!!!
Saturday-Easy 6 miles remembering that Sunday is a HARD day (Long Run). Or, if I have a race, Saturday is a HARD day (obviously), in which case Sunday will be a relaxed (not progressive!!!!) long run.
Sunday-Long Run. The only thing my coach ever tells me about my long run is to do what I feel like doing... It used to frustrate me, but I now feel liberated by it. If I want to push the paces a bit (providing I DID NOT have a race the day prior), then go for it. If I want to chill, that's fine too. I generally try to shoot for around an 8:50ish-9:10ish pace on my long runs. This seems to have served me well as far as being able to recover quickly by the next day.
Oh, I also lift weights twice a week, but that's the next post. Stay tuned!
This is a most excellent book that was given to me by my running partner as a birthday gift. She gave it to me to help me deal with my recurrent injuries.
You know what? I am STOKED that I've only had to consult it ONCE... on my birthday.