At the end of last week's training cycle, I felt just plain exhausted. Even with the mini-tapers every few weeks, I couldn't seem to recover enough to feel refreshed. Well, it would seem that I need to work on my reading skills. In revisiting the instructions for my training plan, I seemed to have misunderstood the term "cross-training." If I had taken time to read the fine print and not assumed what was intended (we all know what assuming does!), HIIT workouts would not have been on the docket, but instead some easy walking and stretching. I was basically adding a sixth day of hard training, when I should have been resting up and healing. Lesson learned! I have a feeling this week will go much better.
Monday: 4 Miles - As part of my commitment to taking my easy days a little easier, I set a goal of not letting my heart rate exceed 140 beats per minute (bpm). While this task becomes slightly tricky when hills are involved, I was able to perform it with a decent amount of success. Even better, my legs felt fresh and ready to tackle the remaining miles for the week.
Tuesday: Rest Day
Wednesday: 8 Miles - Reigning in the pace for four miles was fairly manageable, but accomplishing the task over twice the distance requires a special level of discipline. Going into this workout, I knew that I had to accept the fact that the run would take me longer that I had become accustomed to. I had to also practice ignoring the pace/mile numerals. While the bpm rose slightly above the goal due to the hills, the vast majority of the run remained on the mark.
Thursday: 4 Miles - For how challenging it can be to maintain a particular heart rate during road runs, the treadmill amazingly simplifies the process. Once I determined what pace I needed to hold to stay below 140, I just settled in for the long haul. All that said, in exchange for the ease of meeting my bpm goal, there was a good bit of monotony just moving at the same speed the entire time.
Friday: Rest Day
Saturday: 16 Miles - With each week, the long run wins hands-down as my favorite workout; today was not exception, Even with making a wrong turn leading to a little more hill work than intended, these miles just flew by. And as always, I got the opportunity learn a little more about another member of the running group.
Sunday: 8 Miles - On occasion, the adventurous spirit strikes me and I try out a new trail or park. With the weather being absolutely gorgeous, I headed to a nearby rail-trail that was mentioned yesterday during the group run. To my excited surprise, this path managed to combine both a flat terrain and scenic views. I was able to do really well keeping marathon pace while taking in the sights and sounds. I will definitely be revisiting this path soon!
Between slowing the pace of my weekly runs and performing the correct type of cross-training, I feel significantly better. My body knew I was being stupid and all it took was listening to it to get things back on track. Going into this next week of training, I'm feel that I have a better handle on what I need to be doing so I'm ready for May 7th as it quickly approaches.
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