Yet another week of marathon training is in the books. I am certainly beginning to feel that familiar “training ache” in my legs when waking up in the morning and from afternoon naps. Usually, this means that I am putting in a good deal of mileage and that I need to prioritize rest as much as I can. Outsiders often laugh when they hear that a 28 year old man makes it a top priority to nap at least an hour every day but I take this part of my training very seriously!
As running has become more and more popular countless recovery tools and tricks are always floating around in the various running magazines but when it comes down to it SLEEP is the number one recovery device out there. Always has been and always will be. Obviously, getting in the miles, hard workouts, and eating right are vital but you will reap none of the benefits of your training if you do not get to bed and allow the body to adapt! So when I wake up a bit tired and sore it tells me that a) I am training hard and b) that although I recovered during that sleep, I need to get more in order to be ready for the upcoming hard sessions.
With that in mind, the main workout of the week was supposed to be 3x4x1200 meters at Bass Lake in Blowing Rock. The goal of the workout was to run each set of 4 1200 meter repeats a touch faster than the previous one with rep #1 being roughly marathon goal pace and rep #4 being roughly half marathon pace. From the start of the first interval I could tell that my legs were feeling terrible. I ran the first 1200 about 5 seconds slower than prescribed (3:55 instead of 3:51) and then proceeded to hover around that same time for the remainder of the first set. It was frustrating because even when I really put my head down to run faster I would cross the finish line and my watch would tell a different story.
After an easy 3 minute jog I went back into set 2 with the goal of simply trying to run a rep at 3:50-51. After rep 5 and 6 I was nowhere close and as I jogged by Pete I tossed my watch at him and said I didn’t need to see it anymore. He agreed and said that I only needed to complete the 2nd set and we would call it a day. I ran two more 1200’s without my watch and then began a long cool down to clear my head.
Obviously, my 115 mile weeks had caught up to me and I was unable to run fast on this day but as I cooled down through the maze I settled down and decided to shake it off. It was one day and is not representative of the other quality long runs and workouts Tyler and I have already completed. I’m not saying that I was on top of the world the remainder of the day, but I was content with the work I had done. Was it at the pace requested? No. Did I complete the entire workout Pete gave me? No. But I still did 8 hard 1200’s and a total of 15 miles for the morning. And, truthfully my body was working hard regardless of what the watch said and that will have some benefit as I move through this training cycle.
After 3 VERY, VERY easy days of running Tyler and I had another long run on Saturday morning in Blowing Rock. The run was scheduled to be “only” 19 miles with surging minutes of 1-1-2-1-3-1-7-1-2-2-1 beginning 25 minutes into the run. We started the run on the Blue Ridge Parkway and climbed our way back towards Moses Cone before doing another short loop through the hilly streets of Blowing Rock and then dropped back down to Bass Lake. Once on Bass Lake, Tyler and I did a 25 minute circuit on the hill cycle loop, which is an 1100 meter loop consisting of 300 meters of climbing, 300 meters of downhill, and 500 meters of flat. We then finished the run on Bass Lake with our last few lake loops in the 5:20-5:30 per mile range. Overall it was a nice bounce back workout after the 1200 debacle. And interestingly, our last mile of the day was quick, but controlled, and I came through 1200 meters in the same time I ran during the workout a few days before. C’est la vie!
And in non-running news I am excited to announce that I will be the volunteer assistant coach with the Appalachian State University men’s soccer program this season. I have gotten to know the head and assistant coach through my time with HCSA and they were excited about having me join the staff. Their preseason began this week and I have been busy helping out at training sessions and getting to know all the new players. I love coaching and am excited to get back into the college game after spending the last 4 years with primarily youth players. Check out my bio on the ASU athletics website: http://www.appstatesports.com/SportSelect.dbml?&DB_OEM_ID=21500&SPID=13258&SPSID=106981 (Esther is NOT pleased that I didn’t smile for my picture but oh well.)
Thanks for reading!
Here is my last week of training (8/10-8/16):
Sunday: AM: 12 miles
Monday: AM: 12 miles PM: 6 miles
Tuesday: AM: 15 miles (1200’s workout) PM: 5 miles
Wednesday: AM: 7 miles PM: 8 miles
Thursday: AM: 13 miles
Friday: AM: 12 miles(10×20 seconds post run) PM: 6 miles
Saturday: AM: 19 miles (long run w/11213171221 min surges) PM: walk
Total: 115 miles, 11 runs