On Monday I stretched the legs out during an 8 miler with 8x300 jogs, 100 accelerations/sprints, just to get the legs used to the idea that they're going to have to start moving faster for the spring race season. While I felt a bit rusty, it did feel good to shake the cobwebs a bit. I followed up with an short and sedate five miles yesterday before emailing Mystery Coach to ask about a possible workout to sharpen up before the 10K on Sunday.
After the Twin Cities marathon in October I found myself in a similar situation, with a race scheduled two weeks afterwards. Last time the workout preceded a 10 mile race, and I think now that I probably left too much out there with this in the log:
"12 miles, 1:16:02, 6:21 pace, w/2.5 mile effort at 5:54, 5:45, 5:44(.5), 10 minutes easy, then 3x1 mile in 5:32, 5:24, 5:13 (.75-1 mile rest)"
At that time I just wasn't recovered enough to handle the volume, and I think the workout probably did more harm than good.
This time Mystery Coach advised an easier two miles at 10:32, either run on the roads or as relaxed 79 second quarters on the track. I put on the new flats and decided to finish breaking them in by doing the workout on the oval at the nearby junior high. After a three mile warm up and a few strides I got to it, and the first mile went by with four laps at 78 seconds. The coach's email mentioned that I should definitely bag the workout if the legs felt like they were filling up from the effort, so I started paying attention as I started into the second 1600. After two more 78's I started feeling the effort, but the legs were still in it so I continued on to finish with two last 78's.
All things considered, I'm feeling pretty good this week. By keeping the miles low and adding shorter bursts of intensity I'm hoping the body treats this week like a continuation of the marathon taper (I know, it's a lot to ask). I'm pretty confident the endurance is pretty well capped off, so a little sharpening and a lot of rest might bring me around enough to not embarrass myself Sunday.
Training: 1/23, 7 miles, around 50m, w/3200m in 10:28 (all 1:18 quarters, spooky)
1/22, 5 miles, 34m, 6:58 pace
1/21, 8 miles around 7m pace (Garmin futzed out)