Saturday, September 27, 2014

Long Runs and Recovery

Last year I read You (Only Faster) by Greg McMillan, M.S. and used many tips from it when I was sub 59, 10K training. A few things that really stuck with me from the book were, never sacrifice your rest and recovery trying to "make up" missed workouts, and if your training does get derailed a bit, never skip the long run.

September hasn't been the best month, I will be glad to get it behind me. The humidity was awful in the beginning of the month. I was so excited to start limiting my treadmill runs and getting my pavement mojo back; when I started missing outside runs, I got discouraged and didn't run much for a few weeks. Then, my first attempt at eight miles a few weeks ago had me thinking about my running retirement, but I finally put a halt to that this week. Honestly, I felt a little panicked because I had run so little, but I tried to not get crazy and overdo it. 

I fell back on the never skip the long run principle.

Never skip the long run - You (Only Faster) p. 172
Endurance is the base of all running performance and the long run is the most important workout for developing endurance. I'd prefer to skip any other workout than to skip the long run, even if it means moving the long run to midweek and skipping a speed workout because your weekend will be full of other activities. 

Smiling because I realized 3.1 isn't that much farther than 10 :)  - I got this!
 October is going to be all about reclaiming my endurance.

The training plan I am following does incorporate some fartlek and interval runs, but I am so "behind"(physically) I have been ignoring them. Moving forward in October I do plan to include the interval and 10K pace runs as they pop up on my calendar, but this past week I just needed to keep it simple. 

49 days to race day  

I am not sure why I filmed my feet, it's nauseating to watch 

Two long runs this past week - Monday (9 miles) and Friday (10 miles). Monday's run was very easy paced and I felt okay, but Friday I felt strong and really enjoyed it, probably because my legs were so well rested.

Monday's run I was feeling exhausted at mile four, Friday I felt energized at mile four. I decided to start pushing just a little and was pleased it actually felt pretty darn good...
Fingers crossed this continues :) 

Avg Pace

So far this week: 

Monday - 9 mile morning run 
                 1 mile treadmill warm up
                 Upper body work  - 1:20 minutes 

Tuesday - decided to rest 

Wednesday - pouring rain so I went to the gym
                      5 minute warm up run - I really wanted to get away 
                      from the treadmill so I skipped the intervals this week
                      Upper body work - 1:43 minutes

Thursday - decided to rest - had to take my car for service after                           work and wanted fresh legs for my long run

Friday - 10 mile morning run 
               1 mile walk 
               Hour bike ride w/hubby before dark

Saturday - decided to rest, grocery shop, and clean...boring

Sunday - plan to do at least a 5 mile run :) and a trip to the gym and                some biking too 

It kind of killed me to rest so much. This summer because I was only doing shorter runs, I took very few rest days, however the increase in mileage did increase the fatigue in my legs. 

I tried to remain calm this week. I didn't let myself get nutty and get sucked into running everyday playing "catch-up". My plan was to long run this week, I stuck to it, and I have to say I am starting to feel stronger and happier already :) 

How do you feel about focusing on the long run? Would that be the one run you wouldn't skimp on? 
Any wisdom to share on what you have done if you ever felt "behind"? 


  1. When feeling behind, it's really important not to try to make up miles. I don't want to be sidelined with injuries. Nice week of running!

    1. Thanks! I am trying to proceed with caution :) You are so right about injury

  2. No matter what details me I always feel confident if I've managed to get in my long runs. Great job on getting your 2 long runs in! I've never read that book but it sounds interesting.

    1. Thanks! I agree the long runs are what really make me content :)

  3. I like that the book says never sacrifice the long run or rest. I TOTALLY agree. If someone is marathon or half marathon training, I always tell them, don't sweat the mid week runs. It's the LONG run that counts. In all of my marathon and half marathon training, I only ever followed the training plan to know what long run to do. That is the only day that is nonnegotiable. All the other days... totally negotiable! For me, anyway. Now, for my 10k training, I look at my speed and tempo work as what not to miss since I am trying to get faster. I don't really need to do a long run. But yesterday I did 8 (longish for me right now!) and it felt awewwwwsome!

    1. Woohoo! You will be able to nail your dream pace for the 10K . If 8 felt great that must mean your foot is feeling better :) yaaa for that! I did the same thing last year for 10K training and I think it cured me from loving progression runs lol but it works

  4. Wow, TWO long runs this week! I have to agree -- never a good idea to skip the long run -- the gains from such an important run are unbelievable, but it is SO hard when you're not motivated to run long. I mean, it's LONG. You're out there for a while. It's a commitment. Glad to hear that your running is going great!

    1. Thanks Marnie :) It is long! After this winter I guess I will evaluate how I feel and try to decide about the full marathon distance...I can't imagine running that long lol

  5. Great job Karen! Glad to hear you are finding the spark again. The summer is really tough on the long run. I know you will do great at your half! :)

  6. Thanks Elisabeth :) It feels good not to be dying...finally. LOL

  7. I tried the Hansons Marathon Training Method and the one thing I didn't like is you never hit the 20 mile training runs... which I feel like I definitely need! Instead, you only get up to 16 miles, which seemed odd to me. I agree that you definitely need those good, quality long runs!

    1. I have never run that far...yet. maybe one day :) I will have to look the Hansons method not sure what that is.

  8. This is great advice! I need to take this advice. If I skip my long run, say due to illness, then it is usually skipped until the following week (which is what happened last week). However, after reading this, I will now do my long run tomorrow instead of sunday, so then its only half a week late - better late than never I suppose, in this instance. Thanks Karen!

  9. Indeed I got into the troubles when I ran too many miles and many days in a row, not when I skipped the workouts. I agree, the long distance runs are important.

    1. It's hard, but I am trying to relax and not run when my body feels over tired.


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