Each marathon training cycle has it’s ups and downs. There are good weeks, bad weeks. Great runs, not-so-great runs. It’s all part of a normal, healthy training cycle.
I’d like to think that I push myself pretty hard on my “on” days – intervals, tempos, long runs. I’ve been seeing some good improvement with paces, endurance and recovery times.
But the last few weeks have been different. I have had no desire, energy or motivation to push when I reached the point in workouts where things get tough. And I’ve just quit. Gotten off the treadmill, hit “stop” on my garmin. And called it a day.
It started the week we were in Florida during my 3×2 workout. I chalked it up to being tired from vacation and all the walking around we were doing in Disney. Then, I had a great 1 mile race that weekend and felt like I was ready to go full-force the last six weeks of Boston training. I had a solid week of training – logged the planned miles, hit the paces in workouts and felt good.
But the 22 miler the following weekend didn’t feel great. I didn’t fuel properly during the run – or after the run – and paid the price for days after (lesson definitely learned). My glycogen stores were heavily depleted. So instead of starting the week off refreshed and rested for another week of training, I was tired (both from running and lack of sleep). It didn’t help that my husband was away for work for six days/nights as well – so I was already getting less sleep and downtime than usual.
By Wednesday, I knew something was still off, so coach and I decided to make some adjustments for the week. A lot less mileage over the next few days. No cross training or other stuff. And as much resting and recovery as possible.
I was asleep by 8pm Sunday night. I went to bed while I was laying down with my youngest. Woke up at 6am and felt awake and energized. Yesterday was a 12 miler (on treadmill) and I felt great.
1 mile warmup (8:30 pace)
10 miles – alternating 1 min @ 4.5% incline, 3 min @ 1% incline
1 mile with 6 x :20-30 sec surges (50 sec recovery)
12 total miles at 7:58 pace
And I ended the day with a strong, hard strength workout – core, upper body and legs.
This is the first training cycle where I haven’t chastised myself for my inability to finish a workout. The drive and determination is there most days. But last week it wasn’t. My body was not responding and I knew that it was not smart to push beyond the normal effort of a hard run.
This is okay. In fact, it’s even normal during a long, hard training cycle. Life, training, sleep all play a part and greatly affect how well – or poorly – a training week goes. The best thing to do is take a step back. Reduce mileage for a few days. Eliminate speedwork (or cut back). Focus on what you can control – sleep, nutrition, rest, recovery. And then be ready to resume training – mileage and intensity – the following week.
Hope your week is off to a good start and that you have a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!
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