Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Hard Days Hard.... Easy Days Easy

Going back to this post where I talk about what's worked for me...

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.

Make sense?


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.


  1. This sounds exactly like I was training when I moved from one speed day to two. I will predict that you will see some major increase in speed :)

    How cool! You won the race, after all! with 80% effort? lol

  2. Right? I have to make sure that I say "80% effort" at least 3 more times on my blog. ROFL!

    If I had done a 95% effort, I could have beat the 12 year-old boy that passed me at the end. Bahahaha! (true story!)

  3. Damn! Your marathon is soon. Time is totally passing me by these days. I'm so glad that you have had a healthy training cycle and I can't wait to see you rock this race!

  4. You are going to rock that thing! I can't wait to read the race report.

  5. SO great! i completely agree with taking easy days easy and hard days hard - and never doing two hard days in a row. that is the way i do it too! it's awesome to see a glimpse of a week in your training. you are going to have an amazing race and i am sooo happy that you have bounced back from your injury and are running so strong!

  6. oh and i meant to also say - the new look of your blog is really nice!!

  7. Yeah I can comment! LOVE this! So interesting. I think I need that book. STAT. You so have the whole package and I am so happy for you. You inspire me and impress me and I am just so excited to see what type of magic is waiting under those winged Brooks! One think I noticed--no cross training as far as eliptical or bike. Very interesting. Also what is a day in the life of your nutrition, homegirl? Wondering if that also plays a part! Man Im done being chronicly injured. Thanks for this post and I am SUCH a fan Miss Thang!

  8. Just found you thru mickiruns... nice job on your smart training! I've cut back to 3 days of running after an injury this summer, so I'm mixing in some hard cross training, and not sure if I'm always following the easy-hard rule, but so far, so good. I look forward to following your training!

  9. Just found your blog today. Looks like you are getting in some great training for your upcoming race. And yes, I agree, keep your easy days easy so that you can push the pace on the hard workouts. Easier said than done but it does help!

  10. We have that white cherry powerade! :)