JC Marathon Training Week 6: Taking Some Time for Recovery

Last week, I ran the Super Saturday 10 Miler. That means that this week is focused on recovery.

The last time I ran a serious tune up race in the middle of marathon training, I ended up injuring my hip flexor. It wasn’t a serious injury, but it disrupted my training for Philly.

So, with that in mind, I went into this week intending to take things easy. I’m feeling great – and I have no intentions of risking my potential performance at Jersey City or at the Brooklyn Half the following month.

How did things go? Let’s get into it.

Me, finishing the Super Saturday 10 Mile Race

The Daily Plan for Week 6

The plan for week 6 was, essentially, to run a bunch of easy miles. I planned to run 70 miles to maintain my base mileage, but I didn’t plan any workouts.

Here’s how I anticipated things shaking out:

  • Sunday: 14 miles
  • Monday: 6 miles in the morning, 4 in the evening
  • Tuesday: 8 miles in the morning
  • Wednesday: 6 miles in the morning, 4 in the evening
  • Thursday: 8 miles
  • Friday: 12 miles
  • Saturday: 8 miles

And here’s how it actually went.

The Recap from Week 6

I deviated a bit from the plan from the get go.

I was feeling great on Sunday morning – the day after the race. So I considered running 16 miles instead of 14. My plan was to take things easy, see how I felt, and make a decision partway through.

Well, it started out great. I was feeling amazing for the first 6 miles, and then I started to get a little fatigued. It wasn’t too bad for the next couple miles, but by 10 miles I was feeling real worn down. I backed off the pace, took things slow, and I finished the full 16.

But boy, was I drained. If I could rewind the clock, I would have just gone out for 14. It’s in the past, though, and I survived.

Monday, I realized that I had a late meeting for work. So the double was out. Instead, I ran 8 in the morning and I planned to tack on the double another day. I hit the trails for this one, I and took it nice and slow. I finished up feeling tired, but I wasn’t as worn out as the day before.

Tuesday, we got hit with a snowstorm. By the time I woke up and walked the dog, there were already a couple of inches on the ground. And it was still snowing. I decided to split the day up into two short runs on the treadmill. The morning was uneventful. I even felt pretty loose. In the afternoon, I had to go out and shovel. In the evening, I went back downstairs to run my double. I didn’t feel nearly as good as I did in the morning, but it went ok.

Wednesday, I did my morning run outside at the Reservoir. I didn’t feel like getting out of bed, but I did. The mile was dreadfully slow, but I loosened up towards the end. The last few miles were slightly under 9:00/mi – so not quite normal, but close. After work, I jogged an easy 45 minutes on the treadmill. Uneventful. I was feeling a bit worn down, though, and I was beginning to worry that maybe I was under recovering.

Thursday, I had some more scheduling issues. I had to be out of the house early, so I rolled out of bed at 6:00 and hopped right on the treadmill for an easy 45 minutes. Starting to feel more normal. After a long day of work, I did another 45 minutes on the treadmill in the evening. I was back on track mileage wise, and I was feeling pretty good. Felt much better than the day before.

I had an early-ish morning Friday so I swapped the longer run Friday for the shorter one on Saturday. I ran 8 miles around the Reservoir, and I added in some strides. Once I got warmed up, my pace dipped into the high 8:00’s. The strides were a little slow, but it felt good to open up and run fast. After this run, I’d say I felt about 95% – pretty good, but not quite ready for a workout.

Saturday, I woke up to some surprise snow. It wasn’t bad, though. There was an inch or two on the ground, and it was just flurrying when I left the house. It turned out to be a good thing that I had slept in. I got more sleep and I avoided running in the snow.

I needed to run 10 miles to hit my mileage goal for the week, so I bundled up and headed to the Reservoir for a few laps. The view was beautiful – with snow frosting all of the trees. On my second lap, I spotted the local bald eagle swoop down over the water.

This was the first day I really felt normal. I loosened up quickly, and the second half I was running around 8:15/mi. My average pace was 8:36/mi. It was a good way to end the week – feeling fresh and fully recovered.

What’s Coming Up Next?

Overall, this week didn’t go quite according to plan – but it was successful. I hit my mileage goal, despite having a snowstorm and two scheduling issues impact my plan. I’m glad this was a recovery week, and the only thing I had to worry about was mileage.

This week, we’re going out of town to visit family in Florida.

I didn’t put any workouts on my schedule originally, because I wasn’t sure what the weather was going to be like. But it looks to be bearable, and I won’t have to worry about the south Florida heat and humidity.

Given that fact, I think I’ll work in a couple lighter workouts this week to transition back into heavy training. I’ll keep the mileage at 70 and keep the workouts light, just to make sure I’m 100% recovered from the race before I dive back in.

I’ve got five weeks until the Spring Distance Classic 15k – and after that it’s only a couple more weeks to the marathon.

Things are looking good. Let’s keep it that way.

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