I am so excited… this is a huge down week for me – 81 miles! It shows how far I’ve come when three cycles ago this would have been a huge week. Today’s plan just called for 10 miles and my immediate reaction was: what? Just 10? Not a second run at night of 6 as well? It just feels weird :).
I managed the high mileage block really well, and although the last 2 or 3 weeks I’ve been more tired, I was very careful not to allow myself to get too tired. I’ve learned there’s a very fine line between training tired (essential for the marathon) and training too tired. I noticed little things… my paces for my easy runs all slowed to between 8:30-8:40 (during my “I feel amazing” high mileage weeks there were days that slow but then I’d recover and be back at 8ish the next day), my routine 25 push ups and sit ups after my runs became harder (very odd…), and I needed more sleep. I’m glad that I’ve become good at seeing those signs and allowing my body to do what it needs to do instead of forcing paces that aren’t right for it.
Note: although I monitor the paces on my easy runs, I have learned the best thing is to not care about what the watch says, in the slightest. If I’m running 8:30’s plus, I don’t worry about it. I do whatever it takes to let my legs actually recover so they can hit the hard workouts hard. I think this is a common error amongst runners… pushing a little too hard on the easy runs and therefore sacrificing a little on each hard workout. Run by feel!!
Amazingly, this down week came at exactly the right time – Jerry’s plans have a habit of being written perfectly like that. I don’t think it would have been beneficial for me to run tired for any longer. Instead, we’ll let the legs freshen up, get their spring back, and we can hit a few more weeks of intensity and mileage before starting the taper. The focus now needs to be on being faster, not building strength by running tired.
I’m excited just thinking about it! 🙂
I’m going to enjoy every extra down-time minute this 80 mile week gives me. Maybe I’ll be able to get a little more caught up on work, actually clean my house (!!), or… most fun… sleep a little more :).