With the conclusion of the Father’s Day race this past weekend, I officially close the chapter on my running life titled the 2009 Spring Racing series. That’s right, from now until middle of August, there’ll be no more racing for these tired legs. Although the results of six races in the past two months were rather meager by my standards, with only 2 PR’s scored during that span, I had a blast trying to milk whatever speed and fitness I had gained as part of Boston Marathon training for as long as I could. But now that I realize with each passing race that I can no longer tap into that running well, I must regroup, refocus and move on to the next marathon training cycle.
As I’m crunching numbers and comparing notes on different marathon plans, I’m giving myself two weeks to build a 16-week training program for the NYC Marathon on November 1. For these two weeks, I’ll be running 30-35 miles at a comfortable pace as part of base building. But to be honest, even while I was racing during the past month, I’ve been scheduling my workouts during the week as if I was already in base building mode anyways. The basic weekly structure for me during this base building phase has been 2 easy/recovery runs of 6 miles during the week, one mid-week longish run (10-12) and a long run or race during the weekend. To my credit, I have been pretty diligent with the midweek longish run over the past month even as my weekend plans have been all driven all of wack by my races. Looking back at my log, for the last four weeks, I have done every single midweek run of 9.5-12 miles, keeping an average pace of 7:13-7:15 for each one of them. Since one of the goals for the new training plan is to run more weekly mileage, I’m hoping this midweek longish run will be the new wrinkle that will help get me to my goal. The only trouble for me is trying to keep a slower pace as I’m running them. I find it extremely difficult not doing tempo pace for the last 2-3 miles when I’m tired and just want the run to end. I know that’s not exactly the right attitude to have but I’m seriously trying to work on that.
Another thing that I’m trying to be more diligent with during base training, is to be consistent with stretching after runs and doing slow recovery jogs after speed workouts. Instead of stopping right after I’m done, I’m forcing myself to jog a good half mile or a mile cooldown to allow my heart rate and muscles to equilibrate back to a normal state. I’ve found I’m able to recover quicker and have less residual soreness when running the next day.
Oh, and one more thing that I’m incorporating into my daily life in honor of base-building: more sleep! God knows we all need a bit more of that no matter what stage of training we’re in.