Fall Training: Week 7

In this, the final week of my “base” period, I ran 90.6 miles — just a hair more than three weeks ago. That mileage is starting to feel comfortable, which is a good thing since it’s still going to go up in the coming weeks.

This coming week starts the “build” period, during which I reintroduce the midweek long run and bring the number of quality workouts up to three per week on a consistent basis (with the exception of recovery weeks).

I did three good workouts this week anyway, plus some weight work for the first time in about a year. Coming off of a recovery week, my legs felt good, so I thought I may as well take advantage of that fact with the runs.

As for the weight work, I put together a routine of exercises to focus on back, shoulder, arm and core strength, which I’ll do at least once per week during training. My form tends to fall apart late in races and I don’t want it to anymore.

A look back at the week:

  • Monday: 5 miles recovery pace (AM); 6 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Tuesday: 5 miles recovery pace (AM); 6 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Wednesday: 10.5 miles with 5 x 1 mile hill repeats (AM); 4.3 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Thursday: 6 miles recovery pace (AM); 5 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Friday: 5 miles with 3 x 1 at tempo pace (AM); 6 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Saturday: 6.1 miles recovery pace (AM); 5 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Sunday: 20.7 mile long run (steady pace)

Total mileage: 90.6 miles

60% of the miles were at recovery pace. Next week, that goes down to 40%. I’ll see how that feels.

Paces this week:

  • Recovery: 9:14 – 10:29
  • Hills: 7:43 – 8:12
  • Tempo: 7:00 – 7:04
  • Long: 8:42

The tempo run, which I did on the treadmill, felt somewhat easy. To be fair, though, I only did a mile at tempo pace at a time. Next time, I’ll try two. There’s always the chance that the treadmill is off, which is why I prefer to do them outside on a track, weather permitting.

I bit the bullet and did my other two quality runs outside in very high humidity. The hill run surprised me, as I managed to do the repeats 10-20 seconds faster than last time around. And yesterday’s long run was done in 75 degree weather and 80+% humidity, and it didn’t feel that bad. I guess I’m getting acclimated. I was sweating like a pig, which is a good sign. There was not a dry spot on my shirt when I got home.

I ran with my Camelbak, filled with close to 70 oz. of water, which I’ll continue to do in these conditions despite the fact that it’s an added 4 lbs. to haul around. I managed to get through most of the water (and shared some with Jonathan when we crossed each others’ paths in White Plains). I also took an Endurolyte during and after the run — something new I’m experimenting with.

After those monster runs on Sunday I’ve learned not to fight the impulse to nap. If I allow myself an hour or so of napping (or even just dozing), I feel good enough to do things like go food shopping amongst the madding crowd at Trader Joe’s on a Sunday afternoon. Naps are good. I just wish I could take them mid-week during the peak phase of training.

I feel good today, too, having slept like a rock for 9 hours. I dreamed of being stuck with two grape-colored hand grenades that I couldn’t get rid of. I don’t know what that means — what am I afraid of accidentally blowing up, I wonder? Maybe the hand grenades represent my legs. Or maybe dreams really are the expression of meaningless mental noise.

As far as the weight work goes, here’s the strength workout I put together (a set is 12 reps). For the first few weeks, I’ll do one set each of these. Then I’ll add in extra sets over time. We have free weights and a Bowflex*, which I’ll mix and match for these.

  • Squats
  • Calf Raises
  • Standing lateral raises
  • Military presses
  • Lower back extension
  • Seated biceps curl
  • Seated abs crunch
  • Trunk rotation

Coming up in Fall Training Week 8: Five more miles. A speed session in high humidity, which should be very uncomfortable (although, looking on the bright side, maybe the track will be less crowded). The return of the regular Wednesday long(ish) run. And another 20 miler, with the last few at marathon pace.

*Yep. We fell for the ads.