A sorta-kinda-maybe cutback week.

I tried something new for me last week. A few months back I had read about a coach giving his marathoners two days off in a row instead of an entire cutback week. The theory being that two quality rest days will boost the system while keeping quality instead of an entire week of easing up. The stars aligned to try this out when we had family and friends in town. We were staying up late with friends at yet another concert and getting up early with nieces & nephews. I don’t see them enough so the idea of leaving to go run for three hours was….simply not happening. I had 6 adorable kids in my house. One 5 year old nephew has gorgeous blond hair, huge brown eyes, and can sing the entire Call me Maybe and We are Young songs. How could I leave that?!? I had not taken an off day in weeks so the timing was perfect.
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Monday through Friday I squeezed a few more miles in to off set my days off. I ended up with 70 miles for the week with 1 day off and another day of 5 easy miles. 5 because that’s my neighborhood loop. Will those two days help my legs and mental state to push me through the next few weeks of training? YES. It probably seems strange for me to say since I have a running blog but I actually do not like to think, eat, sleep, breathe running all the time. Some people thrive on the constant running discussion but I don’t. It mentally wears me out. I need a balance of work hard/play hard. I need to wake up and wonder how a 5 foot tall plastic Coke bottle appeared in our kitchen. Here is how my week played out:

Monday– 15 miles total. 5 mile loop at 7:30 pace but got stuck in a TERRIBLE lightening storm, bolted home as fast as I could! Continued the workout on my treadmill. 5 miles progressing, averaging 6:13 pace. My treadmill only goes up to 10MPH which is 6 minute pace which is fine 99% of the time but at the end of progression runs it is not ideal when you are trying to push that envelope. Then 5 miles at 7:45 pace.

Tuesday– AM-5 miles easy, 10 miles with Renee at the park with 10 hill sprints at the end.

Wednesday– AM- Met the Cox and Pembroke high school Cross Country teams for a TOUGH hill workout. A friend invited me and I was thankful because it ended up being 3 miles of continuous hill work. I was huffing and puffing the whole way and was happy about the effort. It was fun to run with such a motivated group.

Thursday-AM- 5 at 7:45 pace PM- 5 at 7:13 pace.

Friday– 10 miles at 7:20 pace.

Saturday– NADA

Sunday– 5 mile loop at 7:12 pace.

My next big race is the Virginia Beach Rock & Roll Half Marathon in 20 days!
I’m REALLY looking forward to it. Last year at this race I had a very difficult time. I was not acclimated to racing in humidity yet and it really threw me for a loop. I mentally caved with the struggle during the middle miles and ended up with a non-PR, 1:23:12, which was a bit of a let down because I felt like I was in PR shape. This year I’m looking for a much faster time. The timing works out perfectly in that I can have the next two weeks as “up” weeks of mileage then have a quick taper/rest week before the race, then get back to work for three more weeks of “up” mileage before Twin Cities Marathon taper.

Have a great training week everyone!! Did you race this past weekend? Try any new training methods? Do you want a 5 foot tall Coke bottle, because this huge baby is up for grabs! lol.
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27 thoughts on “A sorta-kinda-maybe cutback week.

    • Good for you! That is exactly what I do. Many runners use the morning run as a wake up/shake out run but I find I run better doing my quality in the morning and easy run at night. Excited to read about your progress!!


  1. I am having a “I hate running” spell but after reading about your awesome efforts, I told myself to quit my bitching and go put my shoes on. 🙂 Thank you!

    We went to visit friends in Groton this past weekend and had to run while we were there… holy hills! There was no escaping all those hills. It made the long run really painful… the 90% humidity was also unforgiving. Ugh. I really am hoping for a better training week this week because last week just made me want to give up.

    I think the bottle looks very ‘at-home’ in your place! hahaha. As tempting as the offer sounds, you’ll have to keep the bottle, because it would take up 1/2 my tiny little Boston living room. 🙂


    • Humidity is SO tough! I had no idea when we lived in the PacNW what people were talking about. Now I get it. That combo of hills and humidity make you stronger. Seriously, no Coke bottle for you? ha ha.


  2. yes, i think my new home new a 5 ft tall coke bottle. it’ll throw the whole room together, set the mood 😉

    i love running, but living and breathing all things running 24/7 wears me out too. especially during the summer months when it’s beautiful outside and i just want to relax and be. been trying to keep running contained to only the moments of the day when i’m actually doing it this summer. little to no blogging or reading running blogs, no talk about big goals, just stone cold execution. it’s quite lovely actually.


  3. That is a classy piece of decoration there!

    I like this idea of two days off in a row to reboot. Sounds like you put it in at the perfect place. Can’t wait to see what you can do at Va Beach–1;23 would be a dream 1/2 for me and you’re shooting higher!


  4. I think you are going to see a huge PR in Virginia Beach RnR with the training times you have been having. I can’t wait to see what you do and will be cheering you on! 🙂 The kids are darling (love that pic). The soda bottle is hilarious, but only because it is in your living room and not mine. 🙂


  5. Hear, hear–running is, thankfully, only a small part of my life.

    The ONLY time I talk about running is on my blog. The only time I think about running is when I’m running/writing about running/reading about running. It almost never comes up with family and friends (unless…..it is a friend that I have met through running….but even then I think there are far more interesting the things to talk about). Good to know an elite like you feels the same way!


    • Exactly. I could talk all day about running to a few specific people that give me great advice or my friends who I run with but other than that I don’t like to over analyze things. It just doesn’t fit with my personality. I just get too stressed out if I do. I don’t even subscribe to Runner’s World….GASP!


  6. Oh I totally understand that. I’m glad it was enough to mentally push you through and it looked like so much fun. I need my own space from running a lot of the time too, that is why I have a blog. I feel like I can talk more about it on the blog and not talk to everyone and their mother about it in “real life”.


    • Yes, The blog is a great outlet to type the splits, feelings, etc. without feeling like a gaping weirdo in the real world. No one is going to interrupt me to tell me they are bored out of theirs minds listening to me jab about my marathon but they can feel free to click the little X button and never hurt my feelings 🙂


  7. I may need that Coke bottle at the end of marathon, full of course. That would make for one awesome race photo…drinking out of that bad boy.


  8. I love that coke bottle!!! A 1:23 half marathon time is incredible! I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like to cross the finish line so early on! LOL I’m more of a 3 hour half marathon finisher. Would like to see that change..hopefully on September 2 my finish time will start with a 2!


  9. Love this. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is take a few days off. I’ve actually realized that I feel better about my running and I become more competitive when I stick to running 4 (or 5 max!) days a week. All about finding that balance, I guess!


  10. TOo funny your comments about talking about running. I try to limit it to just the blog world and life – I have SO much going on otherwise that I don’t want it to dominate me!!

    Nice job on the days off – sounds refreshing!


    • Sessions will last an hour and include an avctie warmup. After the warmup, we will take you through a basic circuit of running/jogging, core strengthening and plyometric work. The key is mixing up the workout between different types of exercises to maximize the benefits!


  11. Kris – you are really looking good right now, and I think that mental “holiday” is really needed at the 3/4 point of a tough marathon cycle. I usually do it in the form of a tune-up race that will let me take Friday off, Saturday just a 2-mile shakeout and then race on Sunday. Those two days of almost being completely “off” allow me to hit the reset button when I need it most. You are looking perfect, stay the course as summer wraps up and you are in for a big, big race day if you get the right weather. Happy Trails.


  12. I have never ‘successfully’ followed a training plan because I living life is more fun than continuously logging miles!!
    I like the ideas of two days REST rather than a week easy…once I get into the easy-mode it’s kind of hard to get out of it, especially in the hot-summer-temps!
    Sounds like you had a wonderful family weekend, and a great mental break!
    I hope the weekend ahead is a great one for you too!


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