Mon: AM - 3.5 miles; PM - 5 miles easy
Tue: AM - 4.5 miles; PM - 6.5 miles, including 6 X 20/40 strides
Wed: AM - 4 miles; PM - 5 miles easy
Thu: 4.5 miles
Sat: 5 miles, incl 6 X 20/40 sec strides
Total: 38 miles
Whereas last week was a lackluster week of training, this was one just a flat out bust. Monday and Tuesday went as planned, but they were forced and then some. In other words, I went through the motions and logged runs exactly as scheduled, but I felt more like sleeping than running. I took Wednesday morning off, with the hope I could salvage a workout that evening, but when time to run came around I didn’t really feel like doing the easy 5 miles I did much less running farther and/or faster. At that point, I realized I’d dug myself into a hole yet again, and the rest of the week became about making sure this coming week went better. Accordingly I took a couple days off and just ran easy the other two days.
So now what? Well, you’d think I would have learned my lesson by now, but old habits die hard. I know what worked for me 10-15 years ago, so I want to repeat it. The problem is: 1) I was in my 20’s and early-30’s then and now I’m…..not, and 2) I’ve missed a LOT of time for various reasons, making it exceptionally difficult to advance back to higher mileage, and the recent heat/humidity hasn’t helped. While I’m not saying I’ll never be able to run 70-80 miles (or more) a week again, I just can’t do it right now. It wears me out and doesn’t accomplish much either.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’ve accomplished some things over the past several weeks. I’m not struggling as bad as I was back in April and May, and my average paces are a little faster while my average HR is a little lower, all good things. However, in the end, my goal is to get faster so I can race and I feel like I’m more filling up my log book with pretty numbers than making progress towards that end. In fact, I feel like I’m no faster now than I was a month ago. My guess is if I’d done a time trial then and another now, there would be little to no difference, and that’s just not acceptable.
That said, I’m changing up my training to focus less on quantity and a lot more on quality. Going forward you’ll see fewer doubles, shorter long runs, and a lot more in the way of intervals and workouts. I don’t know if it will work or not, but I feel like I have to shake things up and try something. If it works really well, I’ll stick with it for as long as I’m improving, then if I level off, I’ll start tweaking. Time to see if this old dog can learn some new tricks!