Sunday, October 31, 2004

The End of Recovery!

Finally, the end of recovery. This week's total was 15 miles finished off with two more brisk 5k runs on the "home course". The home course is a nice loop beginning from the house and includes a handful of hills. Saturday's run was an afternoon run while the kids were at a Halloween party up the street. Coming off a day of rest, I pressed the pace a little and was pleased to see the response. Running well under race effort, I did try to keep myself just below the lactate threshold where I could smoothly continue yet fast enought that I couldn't chat with you if I wanted to. The first mile went by in 6:35 (generally uphill) the 2nd in 6:20 (generally downhill) and the 3rd in 5:57 (plus a little for the .1). Total time 19:27. I felt good and the weather was perfect. I have been running 6 x 100m (estimated length) strides at the end of my workouts. I find this is a nice way to stretch the muscles and gain some benefit from the faster leg turnover without stressing the body. I feel refreshed after the strides. I believe the key to these is the recovery. Accelerate to fast but "non-sprint" leg turnover and decelerate over 100m or so. Walk to a full recovery and repeat. It does wonders.

This morning I woke up after enjoying the extra hour of rest afforded to us via tradition, and went out for the final 5k of the recovery week. Ran a little slower but felt good all around. First mile in 6:52, 2nd in 6:28, and the 3rd in 6:11. Time for the 3.1 miles was 20:11. Weather was drippy but not rainy. Also, a bit warmer! It must be up near 50 degrees. I had to let the woodstove die down. I'll get it going later this afternoon just before taking the kids out for their treats.

So while not running hard per se, the speed made the runs more of a "pace" run as opposed to an "easy" run. I guess I felt I needed the psychological benefits of cruising as I have already stored enough rest from the past two week's downtime. Also, knowing I have Monday as a rest day and coming off of Friday's rest day, I felt rested, confident, and ready to train. I am thinking the rest days scheduled into the plan are going to allow me to train at consistently higher levels than previously. Taking rest "where you need it" is good advice if you're already following a schedule that incorporates rest. However, previously, this was my method of determining when I got any rest at all! It does take a little discipline however. Resting on Monday when you're not tired seems counterproductive. My research into other's research, indicates that unless we are running some extreme mileage, we may be short-changing ourselves in our quest for faster times by not fully resting. So I will be the guinea pig in this experiment. We'll take someone who rested "as needed" and have him rest "to schedule" and we'll track the progress!

This week's log recap:
Mon: Rest
Tue: 3miles
Wed: 3 miles
Thu: 3 miles
Fri: Rest
Sat: 3.1 miles
Sun: 3.1 miles
Total: 15.2 miles

So now for 25 weeks of consistent training to bring me within reach of mile goal (2:45:00)!

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