I get questions each week about my training. I find these questions hard to answer at times because I am constantly switching up what I do each training cycle. I don’t want my body to get comfortable, I don’t want it to ever stop adapting. I keep it guessing. I keep it confused.
If you run 5 miles every day, 7 days a week your body gets used to it. It doesn’t adapt, it doesn’t make any progress. This is why your runs should vary in distance and in pace.
This is also why one of the MOST important aspects of being a runner is taking days off. When I say off I mean off. No cross training, no yoga, no spin class – OFF. It’s one of the biggest mistakes I see runners make – they don’t rest. They go out and push themselves to get faster and don’t realize that part of getting faster is doing nothing and giving their bodies a chance to adapt.
I believe that the best training plans change.
I believe that you should find a coach who teaches you to take what she[or he] says and alter it a little bit based on how you feel. If you feel awesome then do what the training plan calls for, if your body is feeling off you alter the workout a little or switch it for another.
You can image as a mom of 3 I do a ton of altering.
Some weeks I run 7 days a week. Some weeks I run 4.
Some weeks I run 90 miles[I've done this once and it was last week]. Some weeks I run 30.
This weekend I wanted to run 16 miles and do my first long run day double.
- Mile 1: 9:14
- Mile 2: 8:52
- Mile 3: 8:13
- Mile 4: 7:52
- Mile 5: 7:56
- Mile 6: 7:56
- Mile 7: 7:52
- Mile 8: 7:59
- Mile 9: 7:59
- Mile 10: 7:40
- Mile 11: 7:54
- Mile 12: 7:48
- Mile 13: 7:52
- Mile 14: 7:55
- Mile 15: 7:47
- Mile 16: 7:08
My first mile is always the slowest of my long run. I use this mile to warm up, much like I would in a marathon. I try to make the last mile of any long run the fastest. It’s hard. It hurts. BUT at the end of a marathon being able to push through the pain and not slow down can mean the difference between a 3:59 and a 4:00, the difference between a 3:19 and a 3:20. If you don’t practice pushing yourself fast on dead tired legs, then you are more likely to give up and not push through when you get to this point during the marathon.
You can apply this principal no matter what race distance you are training for. Your first mile is the slowest, your last mile is the fastest [unless your last mile is part of a cool down - in which case that mile should be around the same speed as your first mile]
I did the double – 4 super easy miles on the treadmill – not paying attention to pace, just running on feel. 20 miles total for the day.
This morning I am resting and by resting I mean cleaning, doing laundry, the dishes and playing with 3 little people. Active rest let’s call it.
This past week I have been moving my blog from blogger to wordpress, alone and with some help from some awesome twitter/blogging friends. It’s been hard. I get it why people pay hundreds of dollars to have someone move their blog for them. The satisfaction I get when something works though is something I would never get if I paid someone to do it for me. When I figure something out and it works I do a happy dance, literally, around my kitchen. Same goes with running. When I do a workout and it works – I have this feeling of invincibility for the rest of the day. It’s fun coaching yourself – hard, but fun.