Fall Training: Weeks 5 and 6

The past two weeks featured lower mileage. Week 5 ended with a half marathon (for which lowering the mileage didn’t help; it was a dreadful race despite having been somewhat “rested” for it). Week 6 was a full recovery week.

We’re back into another heat wave, so I’ve spent lots of quality time with the treadmill for the past few days. I felt quite sluggish this past week, probably leftover fatigue from said race, but also the usual wacky hormonal ups and downs.

A look back at week 5:

  • Monday: 5.2 miles recovery pace (AM); 4.3 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Tuesday: 5.2 miles recovery pace (AM); 4.9 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Wednesday: 11 miles easy pace with 4x1000m at 5K race pace on the track
  • Thursday: 5.5 miles recovery pace (AM); 5 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Friday: 6.4 miles recovery pace (AM); 4.9 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Saturday: 6 miles recovery pace (AM); 4.9 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Sunday: half marathon race (13.3 miles total)

Total mileage: 76.9 miles

And week 6:

  • Monday: Rest day
  • Tuesday: Rest day
  • Wednesday: 6 miles recovery pace (AM); 6 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Thursday: 6.2 miles recovery pace (AM); 6 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Friday: 6.3 miles recovery pace (AM); 6 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Saturday: 6.1 miles recovery pace (AM); 6 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Sunday: 15 mile long run (steady pace)

Total mileage: 63.5 miles

Paces over both weeks:

  • Recovery: 9:32 – 10:38
  • Race: 7:51
  • Speed: 6:34-6:44
  • Long: 8:32

These aging muscles really felt the lingering effects of the half marathon effort this week. I walked quite a bit on Tuesday, having spent most of the day with my friend Hillary and her two-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Sophia, strolling around Central Park (including taking a load off for two go-rounds on the carousel).* It was interesting to experience the park from a perspective that doesn’t involve running fast and being in pain. Aside from the fact that it was fun to play hookey in a beautiful place with a friend on a work day, I think all the walking also helped recovery. Overall, I was grateful for the lower mileage (relatively speaking) and slower paces this week.

The party’s over for awhile starting tomorrow. The mileage goes right back up to 90 again. I had thought I’d do a Thursday evening 5K race in Van Cortlandt Park, but I’m going to reevaluate that idea based on what the weather does. No more hot weather races. If it’s still miserable then, I’ll take it inside and do a tempo run instead.

Next week caps the “base” phase. That’s followed by 6-7 weeks of “build,” during which I reintroduce the regular midweek long run and start adding in more marathon-pace running every week, along with the usual training runs (hills, intervals, etc.). And, of course, more miles. That phase leads up to a 4-5 week “peak” phase, followed by the taper, to bring me into mid-October as “race ready” as possible. It’s still over three months away, but I’m starting to feel excited about this next race. Let’s hope I can sustain that interest over the coming weeks, when I will surely need the occasional boost to my motivation.

Coming up in Fall Training Week 7: The mileage pops back up to 90. In there is another set of hill repeats, either a tempo run or a 5K race, a midweek and weekend long run, and lots and lots and lots of recovery miles.

*The trip to the carousel yielded one of those wonderful “only in New York City” exchanges. We noticed that there was no brass ring and asked a ticket taker about it. His response was, “Brass Ring? Oh. They just moved it to Brooklyn.”

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