Isn't it funny how motivation works? Leading up to my 10k this past weekend, I was really struggling to stay motivated enough to continue training for it. Now, with no races lined up in the very near future, I'm suddenly brimming with it; I guess that's a good thing, seeing as I'm planning to tackle a marathon in November.
I've been reflecting on the last few weeks of running and what's been going on for me mentally and physically. Looking back through Daily Mile, I can easily track what my runs - and only my runs - have looked like in the last four weeks. Putting aside cross-training, here's my pattern lately:
As you can see, my weeks have been pretty spotty as far as running goes. Now, this isn't to say I'm not exercising on days I'm not running; the week after traveling for the wedding and all that, I didn't run at all, but I did T25 three days, including a double session on Friday.
I've also noticed that some of my shorter runs have been really hard. My legs feel tired and stiff more often lately. I know it's starting to warm up and get humid again, and my effort feels the same (or more intense), but my paces are slowing down.
My conclusion here is that I need to mix up my cross-training and make sure I'm giving my legs rest days; I also need to run at least three days a week to maintain my fitness and the mileage I feel happiest with.
Now, here's the first five weeks of the prescribed marathon plan from Runner's World's Smart Coach:
Taking a cue from Kristina, who has been running 10 miles every weekend and is seeing physical and mental results, I'm going to start adding consistent long runs back into my "non-training" schedule. Even though I'm not training for a specific race, I need to keep doing LSD runs if I want to maintain my confidence.
So, from this point in April through July, when I begin following the plan above, my schedule will look roughly as follows:
So there's that. This week I've already done my bridge run at moderate effort (Monday), so everything else may shift a bit, but I'm looking forward to having a steady schedule to get used to.
How do you plan your weekly workouts?
How often do you cross-train?
How many days a week do you try to run when you're not following a race plan?