On Monday I planned to run my intervals at lunchtime, but with a sprinkling of slushy snow underfoot and a busy work schedule, I opted for a 2 mile bimble and picked up the intervals on the treadmill in the evening, doing a 1km run and 1km recovery for 5km.
I felt great running the intervals, had some classic cheesy 80s movie tunes on my iPod (Footloose anyone?) and kept upping the pace. I was too late for my semi regular aqua class, so I jumped in the pool for a few lengths of front crawl, just to keep in practice. Managed 200m then a pause (stopped the watch) and another 200m in 9min 30. And followed up with another 200m in 4.30.
You know, as I write that now, I can see that’s quite a lot. But I felt okay; stretched out and slept like a log.
I rely on Tuesday’s run to push me. I had my favourite running buddy on my side, encouraging, coaching and driving the pace. And the air was still, not too cold – a perfect day for a run. But we were barely on our way and doing the usual catch up ‘how’s the training?’ when he offered me a shorter option. And I took it.
My legs were heavy. I knew I wasn’t moving as quickly as I can. I just didn’t feel fresh. So instead of our fast 10k, we did a respectable paced 6k. And we talked about my training plan, and Ian was trying to work out if he’s got it wrong. If it’s too much. If he’s pushing me too hard.
At the moment it looks like this:
Mon – intervals
Tues – 10k fast paced run
Weds – intervals
Thurs – PT session
Fri – rest day (I usually do a pilates class)
Sat – weights workout
Sun – 10/11k run
I like my training plan. It gives me a focus and helps me decide what to do. So, at the moment, my goal is to run a darn fast 10k on Easter Sunday. Hence the focus on speed training in my plan. There are some classes and other things that I like to do, but I know my priority at the moment is to get the runs in.
On Wednesday, I went out again on sluggish, heavy legs. I scrapped the intervals and just bimbled for 3k – which is neither here nor there really. So I gave myself the night off, calling it a blip and made a good start again with my PT session this morning.
I don’t like doubting my plan. I’m not daft and won’t push myself to do something if it really hurts or I’m not well, just to stick to the plan. But I’m not quite at that stage. It’s more feeling a bit weary, and not quite knowing how I’ll be until I start running.
And of course over-analysing doesn’t help either. Is it because I’m running more on consecutive days – could be as many as four in a row? Is it the timing of the runs – would I be better trying to get one in on a morning before work and having a longer recovery time?
Talking it over with Ian as he put me through my paces on the beach has really helped me sort out my questions and I’m going to drop one of my interval sessions to give myself another rest day. It feels like a good decision and gives me chance to focus on quality, rather than churning out junk miles. It’s about being flexible, finding what works for you. Getting the balance right between wussing out and training too hard. Plans can change, but I still have my eyes set on that sub 50 min 10k goal.