Ok, today my training plan said to run 10 miles easy pace. Let me back up a little first. I am training for my 4th marathon and I plan to qualify for Boston on this Marathon. I am in my 7th of 16 weeks training. Last week I ran a half marathon as a training run. My base mpw (miles per week) before the half was 50 and I tapered to 25 mpw for the half. Now I am building my base up to 60 mpw and also recovering from the half marathon. So after my half, I adjusted my training plan for my marathon for four weeks of easy pace and building my base weekly mileage up 10% a week.
My “training run” half was a bit of a disappointment. The weather was possibly the worst conditions for any race, 80 degrees and 100% humidity. I made the typical runner’s mistake and started out too fast and finished with bricks on my legs. I should have adjusted my pace knowing the conditions, but I’m a bit hard headed (wife says, “A lot hard headed.”) and figured I could will myself to the finish and still get a PR. Live and learn. How many times do I need to learn that lesson? There is one good thing that came from this race: I think I have finally figured out what it means to run easy.
Back to today’s run, 10 miles easy pace. I started out with my oldest dog, Mojo. I figured he wanted a work out too, so we went around the block for .9 miles at a nice easy pace. Then I got dog #2, Amber, a chocolate lab puppy with a lot of energy, but somewhat uncontrollable. She likes to run, too, and needs to learn to take it easy just like me, so another .9 mile run about the block. Then dog #3, Louie, a miniature poodle with way too much energy, but small enough to control. He is the fastest dog we have—you would not think a dog with legs that small could run, but if you let him go, he can run faster than a 5 minute-mile pace! So the third lap around the block was just a little faster, but still an easy pace. Then with all the dogs finished, I set out for my easy 7.3 miles, to complete my 10 easy for the day.
Too often we try to make up for a bad race or bad run by running harder the next day. It would have been very easy for me to have pushed myself today because my race did not go as planned. The normal instinct would have been to train harder. But the fact is, if I am going to reach my goal of qualifying for Boston on my next marathon, then I need to allow my body time to recover and repair. Overload and recovery is the only way you can progress and improve. If all we do is overload our body and never let it recover, then we will not reach our goals.
Don’t let a bad race or bad training run keep you from reaching your goals. Take it easy and give yourself time to recover. Lack of recovery might be why you had a bad race in the first place!
Take it easy, train to race, don’t race to train!