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.
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.
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.