This one's for the numbers geeks =D.
After four weeks of running this crazy training plan (Who wrote this thing anyway?!). I had my first scheduled cutback week. Now I have some numbers and a few conclusions.
At this point, I am feeling pretty optimistic about how things are going. I am 1/4 of the way through this training cycle and am happy to say :
- My body seems to be adapting to the weight training very well. Special thanks for the comments on my last post, (especially Jill, who weighed in with some encouraging personal experience as well as some coaching research). My "easy" run Friday (following Thursday afternoon's heavier-than-usual weight session) felt incredible! It was all I could do to restrain myself to an easy pace. I can finally say that DOMS really isn't an issue in my legs now, as there was still no soreness Saturday morning (today).
- There are NO injury issues going on right now. It probably helps that I am not trying to introduce a new day of speed work during this cycle, and that I have covered this amount of mileage recently. We shall see how things go as I continue to build in the miles...In contrast, while training for Eugene a year ago, I had issues with achilles tendinitis, and some sort of tendinitis in the front of the foot/ankle, so I was always wondering if it would spell my death for the marathon. I don't feel that way in training at all right now.
- I seem to be hitting my goal training paces for most runs. But then again, it can be kind of hard to be certain sometimes with my complicated system. The graphs below show my paces as a cumulative pace for each run including warm-up, cool-down and whatever I did for speed that day. For instance, I just plug in the total time spent running and the total distance and the computer calculates the overall pace. I keep the interval/tempo times in my notes separately. Again...we shall see how this continues with added mileage. I hope to pick it up a bit in the next few weeks. I am also conscious of the fact that I could be topped out speed-wise and that this might be as fast as it gets.
Today's cutback long run was 16 miles. My goal was to keep it easy: no progression, just easy on the body. It felt like that's what I did.
Ironically, I was listening to a podcast from http://www.marathontalk.com/ and the guest was mentioning that you should not be trying to "smash out" your long runs at this point in training (12 weeks out); and, that you'd be better to back it off a bit even if you feel like you could hammer it. The point being that you might bring yourself to peak at the wrong time in your cycle. Just what I needed to hear. Despite that, I finished faster than the last 16 miler, felt rested and all on 4 hours of sleep (I did feel sleepy- and I need to get better rest, but the legs were good to go.)
Longer tempo runs mean longer warm up/cool down..
And so..I am happy to report that there is not much to report with running.
My main goal for the next 4 weeks is to continue following the original plan and avoid accidents, such as :
- tripping over rocks or toys
- falling into potholes
- running into stationary objects
- twisting an ankle
- breaking a toe
- suffering a stress fracture
- getting mono
On the home front. I am also excited to say that I have stuck with my meal menu for three weeks! In that time frame, I have reduced my shopping time, prep time, stress and had dinner on the table at a much better time most evenings. HOORAY!!
I did make a change in plans twice, once when I knew I didn't want to cook omelets and we had left-overs, and another time when I had less ham left than I hoped, so I made ham and pintos. Please note. Beans are not an ideal dinner suggestion for the night before a long run, at least in our home :D