Wednesday, 19 March 2014

The seemingly pointless midweek long run

After my second 20 mile long run in 2 weeks last Sunday, the last thing I wanted was to be running long again, it's bad enough making myself run 4 miles of 0.25 mile intervals, but my training plan this week included a 9 mile long run for today (with the last 6 miles at marathon pace).

I use a marathon plan based partly on one from FetchEveryone (which is quite specific about midweek speedwork) and Hal Higdon's Intermediate 2. Higdon's theory is that the total distance of your midweek runs should equal the distance of your one long run on the weekend. Also, the midweek long run is usually half the distance of the weekend long run. So, with 18 miles originally planned for Sunday, this week was supposed to be 2 miles Tuesday + 9 miles Wednesday + 7 miles Thursday (2+5 mile club runs).

I've switched around my plan a bit this week: I'm not running 18 miles this weekend, I'm running 13. I haven't messed with the midweek long run/speedwork plan though; I can't control Tuesday and Thursday runs because they're with the club, but I like to be told what to do on a Wednesday because I tend to dither* if I don't know what to do, then I sometimes do nothing.

Anyway, today's run wasn't strictly speedwork, rather a change of pace at the end. I didn't manage it, I'd eaten breakfast earlier than usual (so much so that I forgot I'd had any), and then dithered* and ended up not running until about 11:30, meaning I'd be running through lunch. So, I was hungry and out of energy. I couldn't decide what route to take either, but eventually opted for the off-road route to Langford, which avoids the need to see people.

I set my Garmin pace band to 8:40-9:40 (knowing I'd never run faster than 8:40) and started off OK, first 4 miles weren't too bad considering I'd run across a field (hurdling a low gate) and up a hill, but then I started to slow on the long downhill from Langford to Henlow (on a downhill!), and I wanted my lunch, and a drink. A series of kissing gates made my watch pause itself through "inactivity", so I had a slow 10 minute mile at the 6 mile mark (that's my excuse anyway).

This run is going down as "recovery" rather than "progressive". And with a reminder to myself to eat more.

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