This week is a 'recovery week' which means I get to cut back in mileage - winning! Cutting back in mileage DOES NOT mean slacking on the workouts. But before I get into what this week has in store for me let me give you a quick recap on the past two 'build' weeks.
As you may recall week 7 went a little something like this:
Monday - 10 miles with 5 @ 15k pace (i.e. 7:30 min/mile)
Tuesday - 4 mile recovery run
Wednesday - 11 steady miles
Thursday - REST
Friday - 7 miles with 8x100m strides
Saturday - 18 miles
Sunday - REST
Week 8 as follows:
Monday - 6 recover miles with 6x100m strides
Tuesday - 12 steady miles
Wednesday - REST
Thursday - 11 miles with 6 @ 8:00 min/mile pace
Friday - 5 recovery miles
Saturday - 20 miles
The verdict? All miles complete and all scary miles (any day that included a medium long run with pace miles in it) were done successfully. Even my 11 this past Thursday that started out feeling slow and clunky resulted in a solid 6 miles at 7:37 pace. The long runs felt amazing. Both weekends I was fortunate enough to have friends join me for part of the run (thank you, thank you, thank you) and the weather held. In fact yesterday was downright gorgeous (although freezing cold at 34). And the kicker - both long runs I finished strong. In fact yesterday I pulled out an 8:12 mile 19 and a 7:48 mile 20. Woot!
So back to the current week - week 9. I trim 7 miles from last weeks' 54 mile summary.
Monday - 6 mile recovery run
Tuesday - 14 steady miles
Wednesday - 6 mile recovery run
Thursday - REST (Good thing to because I'll be eating this day!)
Friday - 6 recovery miles with 6 x 100m strides
Saturday - REST (I'm switching my Saturday run to Sunday
Sunday - Seattle Half Marathon plus 2 warmup miles. 15 miles with 12 @ 8:00 min/mile pace.
A word of advice - if you've never trained for a marathon or any endurance event it is important to include recovery weeks into your plan. True, you want to build the mileage gradually but recovery weeks are important to give your body a rest. But take note - your body probably won't 'feel' good during recovery weeks. I often feel the most lethargic during these weeks and my legs tend to feel heavy. This I attribute to the delayed effect of the high mileage weeks right before. Even though you feel heavy and slow you are doing your body a favor.