Palmer Lake Training: March 4th – 10th

Monday was my typical rest day. I was still feeling really fresh despite my 50-60 mile weeks, but I knew the accumulated fatigue would hit me if I didn’t take a cutback week. My original plan for the week was to do two easier workouts, two short easy days (~4 miles each), one shorter long run on Saturday, and wrap up on Sunday with whatever mileage I needed to hit 40.

Tuesday was a short tempo workout. I ran 6 miles total: 2 warmup, 2 “tempo” at marathon pace, and 2 cooldown. I was stuck on the treadmill for this due to some leftover snow and ice from the weekend storms, but I was just happy I only had to do 6 miles (compared to my 20 and 12 mile treadmill runs over the weekend). Wednesday was 4 easy miles outside. It’s been awhile since I did a run less than 6 miles, and I was shocked with how quick it was!

Thursday was intended to be a short fartlek workout, but the road conditions outside were awful and I didn’t realize until I was already out there (so no treadmill option!). There was a lot of ice everywhere due to snow melting during the day and freezing overnight. I chose to swap my Thursday and Friday runs, but ended up running a little longer than I should have (6 miles instead of 4! whoopsie). I did my short fartlek on Friday instead, and it felt great! I did 10 repeats of 60 seconds “on”, 60 seconds “off”, 7 miles total including warmup and cooldown. I realized later that I did this exact workout during my taper week for RUFA, so I decided to compare the data to see how it went. My “on” pace was several seconds faster this week, and my heart rate was lower! This was a super encouraging realization.

Saturday was my “long run”. Only 12 miles! We went to Boulder for the day and it was beautiful. The weather was nice enough to run in just shorts and a tshirt, so I was overjoyed. I used the new Strava app routebuilder function to map out a 12 mile loop throughout Boulder, weaving through the CU campus and down Pearl Street. Ending with a 300 ft climb in the last mile may have been a mistake, however. Before running on Sunday, I did the math to see what mileage I had to hit to get 40 miles exactly. I usually just kinda go by feel and not worry about trying to make my weekly mileage a nice round number, but I really wanted to set a hard cap on my miles this week to set myself up for success the rest of the month. The weather was almost as nice on Sunday as it was on Saturday, which was lovely.

I realized this week just how hard it actually is for me to stay under 40 miles per week. I used to have trouble trying to hit 50 miles every week, but now I can just kind of hover there naturally without trying. By keeping my easy days at around an hour, doing two bigger workouts during the week, and focusing on my back to back long runs, my weekly mileage has been able to increase fairly organically. I don’t feel like I have to try to cram in more miles to hit some arbitrary weekly number (although I did make sure I hit an arbitrary number this week…). I’m feeling really optimistic about my upcoming peak weeks!

Monday: rest day!

Tuesday: 6 miles, 9:01 pace (2 mile tempo @ 8:00 avg)

Wednesday: 4.43 miles, 9:46 pace

Thursday: 6.24 miles, 9:22 pace

Friday: 7.09 miles, 8:49 pace (10x 60 seconds “on” @ 6:38 avg, 60 seconds “off”)

Saturday: 12.11 miles, 9:11 pace

Sunday: 4.2 miles, 9:05 pace

Total: 40.1 miles, 9:13 avg pace, 1,128 ft of gain

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