This is a cutback week. Rather than increasing the distance of the long run every week, it looks like we will be increasing every other week for a while. Then, at a certain point, it starts increasing every third week until the longest run (3 weeks before the race). So this week will have a shorter long run. Hopefully this makes sense. Here we go!
I’ve been contemplating the idea of treating this entire week as a recovery week. Not only with the shorter long run, but also by doing the other runs at an easie effort. This is something I’ve been doing with weight lifting for years. By backing off every few weeks, I am able to avoid burnout and come back stronger. At least I’ll give this a try today.
Once again, it’s 50 minutes at the track. Today, I’m trying to keep my heart rate in zone 1, which for me is 125-141. Normally, I’m somewhere between zones 1 and 2, so this should be easier than usual.
Not exactly fast, but it was easy. Average pace was 11:24/mile and average heart rate was 128. All done with day 1.
After thinking it over some more, I’ve decided to go easy all week. This morning’s workout is 35 minutes of easy running plus warmup, done at the community college trail. Rather than staying entirely within zone 1 like yesterday, I won’t hold back quite as much. But it should still be a very easy effort.
That worked out pretty well. Average pace was 10:36/mile and average heart rate was 134. Rather than working harder to maintain a steady pace, I’m keeping my effort the same and slowing down as needed. Now that I’m working on maintaining a steady effort, I’m seeing that the hill is slowing me down some. Completed mile paces were 10:24, 10:29, and 10:51. On a flatter surface, I think my pace would have stayed more consistent. I’m hoping that, with training, there will be less of a drop-off in pace, even with hills. All done with day 2.
30+ minute walk with easy running intervals. One of my favorite things about working out early is getting to see the sunrise. Here are a couple from this week. No more physical activities planned for today.
It seems like my write-ups are much less eventful with this being an easier week. Not too much exciting is going on today. Really nice weather though. 64 degrees, which is very mild for Texas this time of year.
My workout consisted of an easy 50 minute run, plus warmup, including 5 strides. As much as possible, I tried to keep the effort consistent throughout the workout. Average pace was 10:27/mile with and average heart rate of 136. This a flatter route than Tuesday, but there are still some hills. Completed mile split paces were 10:12, 10:26, 10:32, and 10:33.
During the earlier part of the run, my right knee was feeling a little weird. Not painful, but slightly uncomfortable. After sitting at my desk for a little while, it still wasn’t feeling great. As much as I wanted to do my traditional lunch break run/walk, I decided to let it rest. Better safe than sorry.
Rest day. My right knee feels better. It’s amazing what a difference some rest can make. One of our daughters asked me to walk with her, so we ended up walking about around 45 minutes. That’s it for today.
In keeping with the recovery nature of the week, I’ll make sure that I’m going easy for today’s run. It’s only 6 miles plus warmup today, so this shouldn’t be tough. Today is another great milestone. It’s my wife Jennifer’s birthday. Jennifer is such a blessing to me and she inspires me to be a better man. While she isn’t a runner, she does share my love for music and is an amazing singer. I thank God every day for giving much such a gift. She is an incredible wife, best friend, and mother to our kids. We’re all taking her to breakfast today, so I’d like to get this workout over with early.
Hitting the road/trail shortly after 5AM. It’s pitch black right now. Starting out with a few minutes of easy running and then 5 hills at 5K-10K pace. Feels great. Let’s get going.
OK, this is turning out to be one of the slowest runs I’ve ever done. Seriously. Zone 1 + lots of hills + high humidity + warm weather + me = very SLOW. Several of the miles are slower than a 12 minute pace, so I probably won’t be passing too many people this time. Quite a few of the high school cross country runners are out today. Of course, they’re all flying by me. Friendly group, though, as they’re all saying “good morning.”
Why do I feel the need to explain to everyone why I’m going so slow? This reminds me of the early days of low heart rate training. I always felt like saying “I promise, there’s a reason for this…I really can run faster.” Oh well, let’s just make the most of it. I’m not out here to impress anyone.
All done with an average pace of 11:57/mile and average heart rate of 132. Strangely enough, when adjusted for temperature, this is still over 30-45 seconds per mile faster than I should have run. Seriously though, I don’t know how this run could have been made any easier. Enough running for today. Let’s go eat!
I went to the track for an easy run/walk to work out any soreness. However, after about 5 laps, a thunderstorm hit and put an early end to the workout. Oh well, these things will happen from time to time.
After church, I celebrated Father’s Day with my family. It was a great reminder that, beyond what I could ever deserve, I am truly a blessed man.
Though not particularly eventful, this was another great week. I feel very rested and ready to hit it hard next week. The takeaway from this week was the importance of not pushing yourself to the point of injury. When something doesn’t feel right, take care of it. Let it rest if needed. It’s better to miss one of two workouts and stay healthy than it is to push through and end up hurt for several weeks.
I think I could have dialed things back a little less and still ended up OK. But there was certainly no harm done. I guess that wraps up another week. Five weeks down and only 21 to go!