Monday, August 1, 2011

NYC Marathon Training Week #5: Monday Rest & Recovery

I work upstairs on the second floor. Usually an indication of how the day is going to play out, as far as exercise is concerned, depends on how my legs burn while climbing the said flight of stairs. They did. Cross training today will be nixed to allow my poor legs to recuperate.

I’ve learned that rest is important. It is through the resting period when repairs to minute tears in the muscles takes place. Running breaks it down. Synthesis happens when you allow the body to rest.  I am listening to the body, more so now, than ever before. I’d rather take one day of rest than 3-4 days. My hammies are yelping, my quads are burning and my achilles are barking. Yes today is definitely a rest day.

Week #4 of training was pretty packed last week.  On paper, it looks easy. However, pile on intense days of training on top of one another and what do you get? Sore, timber-stiff legs ala Frankenstein. The combination of the middle of the week long run, the recovery run, hillwork, the weekend pace run coupled with the long run was the perfect recipe for fatigue.  The first  three weeks was easy. It was so easy that I added workouts here and there, because it didn't seem enough.  In retrospect, I should have enjoyed those “easy” weeks since, now we are into the nitty gritty. The real training is underway.   I face this 5th week with a little bit of trepidation.  For instance, I’ve never a done a mid-week long run past 6 miles. The 7 miles tomorrow is unchartered territory, and it’s only going to increase from here on out.  I have a 35-minute long tempo run the next day.  Without the warm up and cool down, that’s 20 minutes of running at tempo pace which is  about 90% effort. I would be extremely happy if I can pull between an 8:30 to 8:44 pace.  So glad that there is no pace run this weekend, just back to  back long runs done at a moderate pace.

There is a 10K trail run on Sunday that I have thought about running. However, the entry fee is steep—I know it is for a good cause, but still, in this economy, I have to be choosey. I have to look at the bigger picture. If I race this weekend, I woud be knocking off two days worth of training and that is a high price to pay.  If I want to see how well Hal Higdon’s program works, then I’ll have to stick to the plan.

Happy running!

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