Fall Training: Week 11

“Runners like to train 100 miles per week because it’s a round number. But I think 88 is a lot rounder.”
— Don Kardong

Although I hadn’t intended to, I hit over 100 miles this week. 100.1, to be exact. The plan called for 97. But a half mile extra here, a quarter mile extra there, and over 13 sessions it’s easy to inadvertently tack on a few extra miles. So far, so good. My legs haven’t yet snapped in two, fallen off or worn away to unsightly stubs at the ankles. Nor has the niggling sore spot returned.

Aside from hitting triple digits, the week was notable in a few other areas. I started adding a second recovery session to most quality days. I also started the process of extending the length of a few of my recovery runs by a mile or so, which I’ll be doing to keep the mileage up there for the remainder of training.

A look back at the week:

  • Monday: 3.0 miles recovery pace (AM); 7.5 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Tuesday: 14.4 mile long run (steady pace) (AM); 4.1 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Wednesday: 5 miles recovery pace (AM); 6 miles with 3 at tempo pace (PM)
  • Thursday: 7.5 miles recovery pace (AM); 5.5 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Friday: 7.4 miles recovery pace (AM); 6.1 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Saturday: 20.5 mile long run (steady pace)
  • Sunday: 7.0 miles recovery pace (AM); 6.1 miles recovery pace (PM)

Total mileage: 100.1 miles

Paces this week:

  • Recovery: 9:16 – 10:28
  • Tempo: 6:45 – 7:00
  • Long: 7:45 – 8:45

The tempo run on Wednesday was done inside on the treadmill. I really don’t trust the treadmill’s calibration. Maybe it’s the effect of being pulled backward on the belt, but it always feels as if I’m running a lot faster inside than I am outside at equal paces. I broke up the run into a 2 mile segment at 7:00, then a 1 mile bit at 6:45. Running that fast is a real shock, and I had trouble relaxing my shoulders and arms, as well as getting my legs to move fast enough. I’ll be glad when I can get back to doing these on the track in the fall, after the weather turns cooler.

The other tough run was Saturday’s long training run in Central Park. It was quite hot, with a dew point approaching 70%. I’d planned to do this as a marathon pace run: First 13 easy pace, last 7 marathon pace. It was obvious pretty early that I wouldn’t be able to hit that pace. So I ended up doing 2 miles very slow, then started working my pace down from 8:45 to 7:45, taking 5-10 seconds off per mile, then back up to 8:15 and the last few miles easy.

It felt like a failed run at the time, but when I got home and looked at my splits I realized that I managed to run 16+ miles at about 8-12% slower than marathon pace. So, while it wasn’t a marathon pace run, it was still a well-executed workout considering the course and conditions. I’d like to do more of the NYRR training runs. It was enjoyable to run with other people without the pressure of racing. There were enough people to run with, but not so many that it felt crowded. Everyone was very low key and there was plenty of water. I’m sure I took in more than I normally do on summer long runs; I certainly took it in more steadily, as compared to every five miles or so when I’m relying on stashed bottles between Bronxville and Valhalla.

The heat and humidity subsided yesterday and, at least in the morning, it was — yes, I’ll use this word: “delightful” — to be outside. That is really saying something, considering it’s August in New York. It seems pretty nice out there right now, where I’ll be heading in about 15 minutes. I hope it holds through to tomorrow morning at least, when I have my next session of hill repeats.

Complete non sequitur: My legs are becoming very shapely indeed.

Coming up in Fall Training Week 12: If this week is anything to go by, I’ll hit triple digits again. I’ve got a full dance card, with hills on Tuesday, a mid-week long run on Wednesday, an easy run with some miles at marathon pace on Friday, and then a mere 16 miles on Sunday.