This was the best week of training so far. The adjustments from last week to slightly reduce the amount of cross-training and not do any aerobic training the day before my long run seems to have put more spring in my legs for my key run workouts. After this week’s experience, I’m confident that I’m where I need to be at this point in my training cycle and may actually be a bit ahead of schedule. However, I need to be careful to not peak too early, which I suspect may have happened during my preparation for the New York Marathon.
Overall, the body continues to feel limber and in balance. I am not experiencing any pains, although I think I’m going to begin doing the foam roller a couple times a week as a preventative measure. I seemed to have found a good balance between my running, cross training, strength training, so I’ll continue with what worked this past week.
I ran on Tuesday (intervals), Thursday (tempo), and Sunday (long run). I did a 60 minute kettlebell/yoga session on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. As cross-training, I got on the spin bike at the gym for about 50 minutes at a moderate effort (i.e., burning about 500 calories @ ~95 RPMs) on Monday and Friday.
Still seem to be doing a decent job keeping the diet clean. I’ve been getting some good rest, averaging about 7.5 – 8 hours of sleep a night (plus a mid-day catnap of about 30 minutes).
One thing I’m learning during this training cycle is you can’t shortchange recovery. Everyone’s body is different when it comes to how much recovery they need, but running three hard runs a week (with at least a full day off from running between runs) is about all my body will respond to and if I try to sneak an extra run day in there, even an easy run, the body will rebel when I try to push the pace on my hard running days. The spin bike cross-training I think is helpful as a substitute for easy running days, although I’m finding I need to do this at a moderate effort. The strength (primarily kettlebell) training and yoga doesn’t seem to sub-optimize my running at all and I think it would actually be helpful if I had time to do more yoga – my flexibility is horrendous.
Another thing I’m finding to be very helpful this training cycle are compression socks. I only wear them during my long runs (I wouldn’t bother wearing them for anything less than 10 mile runs), but they really do help with the recovery. I was skeptical when I first bought them, but I’m coming to the conclusion that they are a worthwhile investment. Although I’m not sure they make you run any faster, they certainly seem to reduce the fatigue in the calves.
Detailed recap of my runs this week.
12/27, Tuesday (8 x 800s Intervals, Treadmill, 2% incline) – Decent interval session on the treadmill this morning. 8 x 800s, with 90 second slow jog between intervals. Intervals #1 – 6 completed in 2:56, #7 in 2:54, and #8 in 2:51.
12/29, Thursday (Tempo, 10 miles, average pace 6:39/mile) – Good solid tempo run today, felt strong the entire run and was push the pace in the second half of the run. Cold morning, 37 degrees, 56% humidity, NW 6 mph wind. Got about 7.5 hours sleep. No pains. Ran in Newtons.
1/1, Sunday (Long Run, 27 miles, average pace 7:51) – Since I was planning to do a long run, decided to run the marathon distance. What better way to start out the New Year? Maybe I’ll begin doing this annually, or not. Run felt great, perfect running weather, mid-40s, sunny, and minimal wind. Kept a moderate 8 minute pace the first half, then did a progression run the second half with the last 5K being the fastest splits. Really needed this run after having a couple weeks of flat long runs. Ran in Newtons and compression socks. No pains. Got about 7.5 hours sleep. Compression sock seem to be working pretty well.
Total Running Miles – 45 miles (week’s goal – 40 miles)
Total Cycling Miles – Two 50 minute sessions on spin bike Monday and Friday
Strength/Yoga – 3 hours (week’s goal 3 hours)