My travel season has (mostly) come to a close, so I suppose it’s a good time to update the blog with recent training.
In my last training post, I mentioned that I completely skipped a tempo run – on purpose, not because I didn’t have time or was injured. I was sick of dreading them, sick of struggling with them: I needed a break. Doing this let me focus on the fun of training (I was in Boston, my absolute favorite city for running) and put the struggle out of mind for a bit.
In hindsight, I wish I’d done this sooner, because it had a really positive impact on my mindset.
Another issue I needed to tackle was reconciling where I actually was with my training vs. where my plan had me. While I’d been adhering to the plan with regard to long run mileage, and I was mostly on track with midweek workout mileage (which is my second-longest run of the week), I hadn’t been getting in the total weekly mileage that my plan called for.
With my training being ALL OVER THE PLACE, partially due to my recent habit of moving long runs, I did some averaging to figure out what the “big picture” looked like. My two- and four-week rolling average mileage was 29 and 28 miles, respectively. I think that gave me a good idea of the weekly mileage on which to anchor the coming weeks.
My plan for week 11 called for 38 miles – probably not a smart jump in mileage for me, since it’s been nearly a year since I ran that kind of weekly mileage. Looking at my plan, I realized that with approximate 10% increases in weekly mileage, I could get back on track in about 4 weeks.
Because there’s nothing magical about the 10% rule, I still wanted to exercise caution. We all know that being undertrained and healthy is so much better than getting injured trying to hit an arbitrary mileage goal. So in a nutshell, here’s how I planned to approach these weeks:
- Cut mileage from recovery runs first, then easy medium-distance runs
- Run at a ridiculously easy pace for all runs except fast workouts
- Be hyper-sensitive to listening to my body and be willing to cut back at the first sign of anything wonky
Without further ado, here’s how week 11 went:
Week 11: 32 miles
- Plan: Rest
- Actual: Rest
- Plan: 8 miles; 3-5 @ tempo + 6 x 1:00 @ 10k pace (2:00 recovery); core; strength training
- Actual: 8 miles; 3.5 miles tempo (8:49, 8:41, 8:36, 0.5 @8:31/mile) + 5 x 1:00 @ 8:20/mile average; strength training
I started the tempo slow because I’ve been starting tempos too hard and derailing the whole workout. This time – go figure – it felt too easy, so I tacked on another half mile at tempo pace for a little confidence boost. The strength session focused on chest and triceps. I skipped my quick core routine…again [insert blushing face emoji).
- Plan: 4 mile recovery run
- Actual: 45 minutes easy spinning
I replaced this recovery run with an easy spin session to reduce my overall weekly mileage while keeping the “quality” sessions unchanged. WHY DO I HATE THE $%@&ing SPIN BIKE SO MUCH? I love competitive spin classes, but easy spinning is my personal hell. Le sigh.
- Plan: 7 miles + 4 strides; hips/glutes; strength training
- Actual: 6 miles SOOO EASY + 4 strides; strength training
Not to get all hippie on you guys, but I missed the near-meditative state I get into when I run really really really easy. Why is it so hard to run easy? It’s the best! I skipped the hip/glute stuff (stuff like bridges, banded clams/leg raises/lateral walk) because I am lazy and didn’t feel like it.
- Plan: Rest
- Actual: Rest
It’s so easy not to work out on a Friday. I really love the Monday/Friday rest day plan. I’m going to keep it. Jeff and I left for a quick trip to Chicago to celebrate my 30th birthday. We a great trip – Chicago is such a fun city.
The most unique thing we did on our trip was the architecture boat tour on the Chicago River. This was a really interesting tour, especially hearing Jeff’s perspective as an architect himself.Saturday, 10/3
- Plan: 14 miles
- Actual: 4 miles easy
I wanted to run along Lake Michigan, but it was raining and I hadn’t packed any running gear for cold rain. When we got back to Atlanta that evening, Jeff and I went to a friends’ house for a cookout. It was already kind of late (7ish), so I decided the best way to both run and hang out was to run to their house. I was a little damp from sweat and rain, but I was glad I got to both run and grill out with friends.
- Plan: 5 miles recovery
- Actual: 14 miles @ 10:27/mile
I ran the first 6 miles with my friend Amanda, who is training for the Richmond Marathon and was running 6 as a recovery day. It was raining and gross – the run wasn’t exceptionally great, but it wasn’t bad either. Considering how this cycle has gone, I’ll happily take a not-bad run.
Have you ever fallen off the wagon and had to alter a training plan?
What do you think of the 10% rule? Abide by it or ignore it?
What’s your favorite thing to do in Chicago?