First, congrats to everyone who raced today! Big Sur and Eugene marathons were this morning, as well as a couple of others. It was perfect weather and lots of PR's were set. We are sending up lots of cheers from Wyoming for you!
Next - did anyone else watch the Penn Relays on TV yesterday?? I watched with the little kids because Josh was gone coaching at a track meet all day and the big kids weren't home. There were so many incredible races and the U.S. teams dominated over and over. I was so inspired by Leo Manzano, Maggie Vessey, and others (Carmelita Jeter is a rockstar!) I love running and I can not WAIT to watch the Olympics this summer.
It has been almost two weeks since the Boston Marathon, and I have six weeks now until the Utah Valley Marathon. After two weeks of very easy, no schedule, low-intensity running, I am very carefully/gradually start adding back in some intensity and building my mileage. We are being very cautious to make sure that I don't do too much too soon, but I am feeling really good.
One of the things that I have learned as a runner is how important it is to find what works for you. You can read every book and every blog, and talk to every other runner out there, but you still won't know what works for you until you figure it out by trial and error.
I know runners who can eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich two minutes before they walk out the door for a run and can eat all sorts of things during their runs, and I know runners (myself included!) that can't eat any solid food for hours before a run without having major GI issues.
There are many elite runners who run 120+ miles a week at their peak training, and there are runners who race competitively peaking at 50 miles a week. If I tried to run 120 miles a week right now I would surely end up over-trained and injured, and if I only ran 50 I wouldn't be training to the best of my ability. Every runner has to find their own training mileage "sweet spot".
Recovery is like that too. I know runners who regularly run several (fast!) marathons a month with very minimal recovery (or taper) and never are injured, and I know runners who take weeks or longer completely off from running after a marathon. Everyone is different.
I am lucky that I do recover from tough training runs and from races quickly, and yet I want to be able to train hard and race even harder for years to come, so I very much want/need to avoid injury and over-training.
After my fall marathons last year and after the Goofy challenge in January, I found that taking a two week break from training after the race and doing whatever I felt like worked very well for me. I still ran, but I did not have a training plan so I could go by how I felt. I kept the mileage low, I ran without a Garmin or watch, and I avoided intensity. I just ran for fun.
This is what I have done since Boston as well. The training break has been good for my body, my soul, and my mind. I have run with friends, I have run with my running club, I have run with Josh, and I have run alone. I have run with music and without my Garmin. I paid no attention to my pace. It has all been fun, stress-free, worry-free running. It is rejuvenating! After the first couple of days the little bit of post-race soreness/stiffness was gone, and after a few more days, the overall tired feeling I had was gone too.
As has been the case in the past, the last few days of this break, my body has been itching to run faster. My legs are ready/wanting to "go" again, and my brain is getting bored with running easy and for fun every day. I have been good and have waited, but physically and mentally I am ready to get back to training.
This week will be a transition week and I will be carefully monitoring how I feel as I start adding miles and adding back in some intensity.
This morning the plan was 7 miles with a one warm up, five miles @ 7:30 pace and one mile cool down, with 5x100m strides at the end. My splits were 8:27, 7:24, 7:18, 7:21, 7:26, 7:21, 8:18. It felt good to run a little faster and the strides were fun.
So, I am slowly getting back at my training and feeling good and excited about what is ahead.
What are you training for? Happy Sunday!
“The task ahead of you is never greater than the strength within you.” – Unknown
“Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can do what others can’t”. – Unknown