Finally – recovery week! A much needed break from high mileage and intensity. The reason I said it was recovery(ish) week in the title is that unlike how I have approached recovery weeks in the past, my coach starts recovery week with a reduced long run and the easier mid-week runs follow. So last Saturday I ran just 12 miles which meant I came into the week a lot more fresh but it also means that my long run this week was NOT short as would normally be included in a recovery week. I actually think I like this method better because it meant I was more fresh for my 20 milers than I would have been.
Last week I really wanted to just focus on yoga and this week my coach recommended I stick to yoga again, so I did instead of starting another round of 21 Day Fix, as I had planned. I enjoyed exploring more of the Beachbody Yoga Studio (and this week they released three more endurance athlete friendly yoga workouts, including “Yoga for Runners” – I’m looking forward to trying them out).
Speaking of 21 Day Fix, my next 3 week accountability groups starts May 15th and I’ve still got spots open! Fill out the form on this page to get more info/reserve your spot. The Challenge Pack is on sale right now for $40 off – the price of Beachbody on Demand All Access (where you have access to 21 Day Fix, 21 Day Fix Extreme and all the other beachbody programs, including the Beachbody Yoga Studio is only $2.50/month after the price of Shakeology – this deal is insane!).
If you’ve been following these updates you know that I’ve been able to incorporate 21 Day Fix into half and full marathon training – feel free to refer back to this older post I wrote about mixing running and 21 Day Fix (including a few different sample schedules) if you’re wondering how you can incorporate it into your schedule. I feel stronger than I ever have right now, and it’s not just from my marathon training – it’s because I’ve been consistently strength training. If you’re about to start training for a Fall or Winter marathon, now is the perfect time to start strength training and get ready for those higher mileage weeks!
On to the recap!
Monday: 6 mile run with 6 x 2 minute pick-ups. I met my friend Kelly early for this run and was glad to have a buddy and to get it out of the way! Later I did Beachbody Yoga Studio’s 10 Minute Post Workout Stretch – a new favorite short routine for a good stretch!
Tuesday: 8 mile run with my friend Ashley. Her babysitter canceled and she ended up running the whole length with the double stroller – she’s amazing! My legs were heavy so I was secretly happy to run slower with her.
Wednesday: Beachbody Yoga Studio – Upper Sculpt and Core Flow in the morning. I loved this one! It is full body with a lot of emphasis on upper body and core, as the title implies.
I was happy when I showed up to our group run to find out that our run was going to be VERY easy compared to prior weeks. We did some fun get-to-know you activities during the workout too which made it fun. We ran only 5.25 miles which included a 24 minute progression on a hilly route (basically just get faster throughout) and ended with 5 x 200 sprints. My final 200 was at a 4:58 pace! Who knows if my Garmin malfunctioned but I’m going to say it happened (all the others were in the mid 5s so it doesn’t seem too crazy!?). Isn’t it insane to think that marathoners run 26.2 miles at a faster pace than I can sprint 200 meters?!
Friday: 40 minute easy trail run mid-day and 30 minute Beachbody Muscle Recovery yoga in the afternoon.
Saturday: 20 miles with 10 @ goal pace. I was both looking forward to this run and scared of it. We drove a couple cars out to the end of the 56 bike path and ran all the way back to Encinitas. The course was supposed to simulate M2B course a bit in that the first half was a nice net decline but the second half was tougher – rolling hills. Overall, the route had 1,600 feet of descent and about 700 feet of climbing, so a little tougher than M2B but similar. It was also in the 70s and the final 10 miles had a nice headwind without the corresponding tailwind thanks to the route we took. Regardless of the weather and wind, I wanted this to be a good run and I really wanted to execute the final 10 miles at race pace, or close. I knew there would be a few slower miles so I didn’t want to get too caught up in the numbers. We ran the first 10 miles easy, and thanks to the decline, our average pace was in the low 9s/high 8s the whole way. However, I made the mistake of not using the restroom at mile 4 and I had to wait until mile 11 which made for some really uncomfortable miles of holding it! Despite that, these first miles were super enjoyable because I ran with two guys who I don’t normally run with and I enjoyed learning more about them.
I ran the second half alone and it was hard. It was sunny, hot (high 70s by the end) and windy. At times I felt better than others and I was able to do achieve a 8:10 or less pace for about half or the miles, the rest being in the mid 8s (average pace for all these miles was in the high 8:20s, so not bad!). Overall, I was happy with it (average pace for 20 miles being 8:45) but in the final mile I really was feeling the pain and started to have a lot of negative thoughts. I realized I’m still a bit scarred from what happened at CIM and that I’m scared of that pain cave that is inevitable in all marathons. I have some work to do on my mental game, but more on that in another post I’m working on.
Sunday: 21 Day Fix Extreme Yoga with Mike.
- Miles Ran: 47.25
- Strength/Yoga: 2.25 hours
This was a much needed recovery week and although the 20 miler didn’t go perfectly, it was still a great run. I was surprised that it didn’t totally wipe me out either – I felt pretty good Saturday and my legs weren’t even very tired Sunday. It just shows that all these long runs (6 runs of 18-20 miles so far and 2 more to go) are strengthening my legs and increasing my endurance.
Do you like to add yoga to your running routine? Do you do race pace miles within your long runs as your race approaches?