Oops, time sort of slipped away from me and I missed updating week 6 so I’m adding it in with week 7. Again, I’m writing this as a record for myself to look back on, and also as a way to share with you all, so many of the weeks are similar in structure.
The 6th week of training started off pretty great. The Tuesday workout was pretty typical, overall average pace of 7:50, but the Thursday workout I had a little mental breakthrough. Running as hard as you can up a hill for 3 minutes hurts. I can get just under a half a mile uphill and on Thursday I was bumping up the number of repeats as well as having a busy week at work and pushing hard and knowing the pain is coming can be almost as much mental as it is physical. Letting up on the gas is tempting, but at the same time I want each workout to be at least the same overall pace as the previous ones, if not faster. The workouts are always the same distance in the end, but the speed in the middle gets longer, as the cool down at the end gets shorter. That Thursday I decided that I was just going to be in the moment, not think about the added repeats and how much more they were going to hurt and just run…and I had a much better workout. My pace dropped to a 7:41 and I ended up with more repeats, and also an extra half mile at the end because I ran my usual cool down loop, forgetting I had added a mile to the hill repeats. Obviously I should be getting fitter, but that jump was in no way all physical, and probably mostly mental.
That Saturday at the end of the week was also pretty good, it does seem that the pain I experience during the Tuesday and Thursday workouts translates over to my long runs. Its like once you start to get used the acute fatigue of all out hill repeats, a long run doesn’t feel quite as hard. I finished the last 5 miles of the long run faster than the previous 15.
Unfortunately I got a 48 hour something and stayed in bed from Saturday night until Monday morning.
Anyway the week looked like this
- Monday Hour of Trail miles, PM yoga
- Tuesday 3×3 hill repeats for a total of 8 miles followed by lifting; core and rotational mobility too
- Wednesday 8 trail miles
- Thursday 8.5 miles of 3×4 hill repeats, followed by lifting: core and rotational mobility
- Friday, easy hour with friends
- Saturday long run with last 5 miles faster
- Sunday sick all day
- Monday sick all day
- Tuesday, backing off of repeats to 3×3 while I recover from the virus; easy lift, more mobility
- Wednesday 8 trail miles
- Thursday 5×3 for 8 miles; lift
- Friday hour easy run with friends while planning weekend miles
- Saturday long run in South Mountains State park: 20 miles 4,5000 feet. Run comfortable, unless its a runnable downhill and then run it hard (don’t run the steep and terribly technical sections hard, not worth risking an ankle or leg injury) Finish with a 2 mile hike straight up a waterfall 🙂
- Sunday, easy road miles with Drew and the dog.
So the take away from this two week block is to be more mindful of being present while running hill repeats. The benefit of the workout isn’t just the pounding of the legs, or the burning of the lungs…its also training the mind and body to really get close to that edge of suffering, and realizing that its ok. (if you subscribe to the central governor theory, then your brain will cut you off long before you actually do any real damage to yourself by running hard.) I do think when left to my own devices I omit these types of workouts and opt for long slower slogs. That seems to be the type of pain I enjoy, however, the short, intense training bouts is really what I have been missing.
Hope you all had a good few weeks of training!