Spring Race Training: Week 7


Following the pattern of two weeks on and one week off, this was an off week, with just seven sessions and 66.6 miles (Satan’s mileage?).

Despite having run the previous week’s hard weekend run on Saturday rather than Sunday, I was in zombie mode on Monday. For the second time during this training cycle, I was so tired that I felt slightly fluish. I did a very slow recovery run on the treadmill (since we had a late-season blizzard on Monday) in an attempt to get myself ready for hard work on Tuesday.

Tuesday’s tempo run was short (just two miles at the end of faster running), and theoretically went better. I say theoretically because I’m never really sure of what I’m actually running on the treadmill. But it felt hard enough and my HR seemed in line with where it should be for a sub-7:00 pace.

The snow kept me inside again on Wednesday and Thursday, which had a modified speed session to allow for a little more recovery for Sunday’s 25K race/training run. This speed session went very well, although the fact that I’m not a Mathlete led to a quarter mile of extra effort.

I bumped up the mileage for Friday’s recovery run, then did a short session on the track on Saturday — five recovery miles with eight strides. I ran the strides fairly fast — in solid 5:30-5:40 territory for most of them. So now I can almost run as fast as Paula Radcliffe’s Mpace, for about 100m. Or, to draw a real world comparison, while Paula can rocket to the the moon, I can take a bus to Philadelphia.

This little track session gave me a chance to try out my first pair of spikes in a non-workout context (in case for whatever reason I’m not a spike-friendly runner). They were quite comfortable (and light at about 5.5 oz. each)*, and I’m looking forward to doing more speedwork with them in the coming weeks.

I skipped the planned PM four mile recovery run on Saturday due to a social commitment. Of all the runs I could have thrown away last week, that was the most logical one to jettison. I’m glad I did, as it probably left me a little fresher for Sunday’s race.

My resting HR was high all week. This may have reflected the usual consolidation of the previous two weeks’ work, or it may have been because I slept badly for several nights. Or it may have been too much wine. Regardless of the causes of a faster beating, I basically felt okay all week, but not great.

The race on Sunday took a lot out of me, forcing a post-prandial collapse on the couch for a two hour nap. I’m still feeling the effort today, although with each hour, the fatigue lifts just a little more.

Week 8 is a big one, with a 10 mile run including an 8 x 600m speed session on Wednesday, a 15 miler with the final 5 at tempo pace on Friday (boy, am I dreading this one), and a 20 miler on Sunday — along with the other four days featuring doubles adding up to 13-14 miles each. All totalled, a nice, round 100 miles.

*Or, as my favorite bad track commentator Larry Rawson would say, “Running in shoes that each weigh about the same as two slices of bread, is Julie.”