One essential question above all else dominated my running this week. How does one incorporate a 5K race at the peak of marathon training? On the one hand, I was planning some heavy mileage at a slower pace, including a 20-miler, for my runs this week. On the other hand, I knew I had to burn through some quick, short intervals in preparation for the 5K at the end of the week. It was an interesting dilemma but one I struggled with almost every time out this week. What eventually evolved was a compromise of sorts. See if you’ll agree.
Week #10 (2/23-3/1)
What I Planned:
Speed Intervals: 7 total miles with 3 X 1 mile at 5:58 pace
Recovery Run: 4 total miles at easy pace
Midweek General Aerobic Run: 12 miles at 7:05 pace
Weekend Long Run: 20 total miles at long run pace
Weekend Race: 3.1 miles at race pace
Total week 10 distance planned: 46.0 miles
What I Ran:
Tues - TM Speed Intervals: 5.3 miles with 3 interval miles [5:45-5:48]
Tues - Recovery/Cooldown Run: 5.52 miles at 6:47 pace
Thurs - Midweek Long Run: 21 miles at 7:12 pace
Sat - TM Speed Intervals: 4 miles with 2 interval miles [5:49, 5:51]
Sat - GA/Recov Run: 7.54 miles at 7:03 pace
Sun – Coogan’s 5K Race: 3.1 miles at 5:59 pace
Total week 10 distance: 46.5 miles; avg pace – 6:56 min/mi
How I Ran:
As you can see, my plan of attack was to do short fast interval miles on the treadmill and then jump outside for another 5-7 miles as a cooldown/recovery run to add mileage for marathon training. I applied that training strategy for both my Tuesday workout at normal speed and my Saturday workout at reduced speed. The end result was the completion of my inaugural 5K on Sunday at 5:59 pace, which is about the best I could hope for given the nature of the race.
In between these workouts, I had a midweek 21 miler that went extremely well. The weather was perfect that day and because I was running in the early afternoon, I had the running paths around the city pretty much all to myself throughout the entire run. I ran a completely new route which took me from the Upper East Side over the Queensboro Bridge, back to Central Park, then up to Morningside Park, across to Riverside Park before finally ending out on Riverside Park and the West Side Highway. Essentially I ran from one side of the island to the other without having to run downtown. Sweet! And because I held myself to a slow and easy 7:30 pace for the first 10 miles, I had enough energy to run a bit faster in the second half, including the last 4 miles at sub-marathon pace (6:48 average pace). I just love my pacing strategy for this long run and will definitely use it again in the future.
My final assessment of this past week is a pretty good one, given that I accomplished all the main objectives I had planned for at the beginning of in the week. It goes to show that flexibility and variety is really an integral component of any successful marathon training program.
Have a great week, everyone!