The difference between my training last week and this week is astronomical:
This week is recovery week, and I’ve had a full week off from doing anything outside of running except yoga. It was much needed and I like to take these weeks of lower mileage every 3-4 weeks. During ultra training I think I’m going to do it after every 2 weeks though, just drop the mileage and the speed work completely. Not worrying about intervals, pace or hill repeats and just taking the time to fall in love with the simple art of running again as well as giving the body a bit of a rest.
On Monday I was feeling so drained after the 26 miles on the weekend plus walk around Hampstead Heath that I could barely haul myself off the sofa. I felt absolutely good for nothing, and also had the worst runger all freaking day. I’ve now reached the point in marathon training where being hungry is a permanent state. I did manage some yoga later in the day, but I was really lacking in energy, I definitely needed to listen to my body and take a rest day. I’ve been drinking loads of smoothies and fresh juices this week to try and help with any inflammation and give my body a boost!
I felt better for the rest on Tuesday and had a great 4 mile run. I thoroughly enjoyed just running for the pure fun of it. I ended up running to Regents Park as I had to go nearby to pick up some books for my nutritional therapy course. I had a nice long walk home from there although it was bloody freezing.
Wednesday I could really feel the niggle in my knee again. I did 6 slower miles, but was really conscious about my knee the whole time, it’s not really painful just dull and doesn’t feel quite right. I probably should have cut the run a bit shorter, but it wasn’t getting any worse and if anything eased up after the first few miles.
On Thursday I headed out for another recovery jog and ended up doing 4 miles in 39 minutes, which is too fast for my recovery pace. It was weird as I felt like I was going slowly and taking it easy. Probably Strava messing up the distance but I’d like to think that maybe my easy pace has improved?! Who knows, I’ll take it anyway. I did some yoga in the evening again, much needed as my hips are super tight right now.
Friday was a total rest day again. On Saturday I headed out for my long run which this week was 8 miles in 1.21. The difference between 8 miles and 18 is just massive, and when I got back it felt like I had barely been out, it almost felt like a rest day later in the day! I met my brother for 3 miles in the middle around Finsbury Park which was nice, to chat and catch up. I was really happy with this as the pace was comfortable and I wasn’t pushing it. As much as I love running, it is nice to not have the entire day taken up by preparing to run/running/recovering! I did yoga again in the evening- 3 times this week- who am I?! I think I’ve rediscovered my yoga mojo!
Today I headed out for a short 4 mile recovery jog. I couldn’t get out of bed before the tennis so I paid for it with having to go out in the rain and wind, it actually wasn’t too bad though, and I quite enjoy running in the rain once I am out there.
So recovery week has gone well, legs feel good, niggles have disappeared and I’m ready to hit the next week of training hard. I have my first race of 2014 the Longman 18m next Sunday. I am using it as a training run rather than race but I am now absolutely dreading it as the elevation gain is insane: 2362 feet over the 18 miles. I have only covered the same elevation gain across 15 runs and 105 miles this year eek! It’s going to be tough, although what goes up must come down right? I’m actually prepared for it to be harder than the Dublin marathon purely due to the elevation. If I prepare for the worst it can only be better though I suppose…