I took a few days off after Richmond, and then finished out a recovery week with some short, easy runs. I spent the next two weeks building up my mileage and incorporating speedwork. I didn’t have a set plan but just went by feel; I think I recovered fairly quickly since I had trained fairly well for Richmond, but didn’t run as hard as I should have.
After a lot of analysis, I tried to figure out what went wrong (other than my quad cramps). My buildup was good, but not great, as I never had any stellar workouts or race results. Ultimately, I think it came down to lack of intensity. First, I’ve been out of racing/training hard for quite awhile. After a complicated pregnancy and my husband’s deployment, I didn’t really train or run hard for over a year and a half. It’s hard to switch back into training mode, both mentally and physically. Second, I think I focused too much on mileage and not enough on getting that intensity back. While I no doubt ran my easy runs easy (especially when pushing the stroller), and probably got in enough workouts, my actual workouts weren’t hard enough.
This training cycle I’m purposefully trying to limit my mileage, and separate my mileage so that I have definitive longer days and purposeful shorter days, instead of just cramming in whatever I can as often as I can. I’m sticking with shorter stuff for my speed days to try to up my intensity, and also incorporate longer speedwork into some of my long runs.
This is what my first actual training week looked like, after a recovery week and two build weeks after the marathon.
Saturday 12/2: with very limited race options in my town, I wanted to jump in the most popular race of the year here, and kick start my speedwork. The Reindeer run is very hilly- not rolling, but long, long uphills, with a downhill last mile. I ran 45 minutes to the race start, then finished the 5K in 18:39 as the first woman, third overall.
Sunday 12/3: 2 hour long run (moderate pace, first long run since the marathon)
Monday 12/4: couldn’t fit in a run today, couldn’t bring myself to run on the treadmill, so did a quick 30 minute bike instead.
Tuesday 12/5: 30 min w/u, 4 x Bethesda Rd miles (my favorite place to do mile repeats- a rolling, curvy gravel road) 5:56, 5:41, 5:52, 5:37, 15 min w/d. 45 minutes with the single/double mixed throughout the rest of the morning.
Wednesday: 45 minutes solo; 31 minutes later w/ the single stroller.
Thursday: 35 min w/u/d to and from the track; 5 x 400,300,200,100. Took me awhile to warm up on these, but was finally feeling fast on the last set. 40 minutes w/ the single/triple strollers mixed later that day.
Friday: 45 minutes easy.