Wednesday, October 01, 2008


I definitely needed a few days to recover from the Saturday-Sunday runs, so I took it quite easy on Monday and Tuesday. There's no real soreness to speak of, just a deep fatigue in the legs that was tested by two more days of big wind. Thankfully the weather cooperated this morning, and I had enough snap to add 8x100 strides during the last few miles to try and shake out the cobwebs in the legs.

I'm really making an effort to back off on the two days following a tough workout, though it isn't as tough a decision as it used to be since the legs now seem to demand it. I'm more than happy to just follow their lead.

I'm racing an 8K on Sunday, which will take care of the speed for the week. I'll still hopefully get in a long-ish run tomorrow, but otherwise it's looking like a down week as far as intensity goes. The 8K is one of my favorite races of the year, so hopefully I can drag the whole family along for it.

12 miles, 1h22m, 6:53 pace, w/8x100 strides/accelerations
Sleep: 7h 8/10
Legs: 7/10 (getting there)
Weather 70 and perfect

12 miles, 1h26m, 7:08 pace
Sleep: 7h 8/10
Legs: 6/10 Still need a little recovery
Weather: 75 degrees and lots of wind

9/29/08 pm., 5 easy miles on the treadmill around 7:40 pace

10 miles, 1h12m, 7:14 pace
Sleep: 6.5h 6/10
Legs: 6/10 dragging
Weather: 75 degrees and a crap-load of wind, not fun


Mike said...

Mike, this may be a silly question, but how exactly do you determine when you need a couple more days to recover? Is it a general feeling you get when you wake up that day, is it the first few miles of the subsequent run, etc?

I say it can be a silly question because you might say "the legs still feel heavy/tired and that's that". Is there a way to determine whether or not the fatigue is more mental/motivation related as sometimes you're more geared up to run the workout than others.

Obviously the reason I ask is because although I don't run anywhere near the mileage or intensity that you do, I tend to go pretty hard for my current level and I'm having a tough time determining when I need an extra day or a down week, etc.

Any insight appreciated.

Mike said...

As long as I'm in decent shape, general runs don't really feel that taxing unless I'm fatigued. If I find myself looking at the watch often and contemplating calling the run early, or if I'm just dragging, I know I'm still recovering.

My biggest issue when it comes to recovery seems to be getting enough sleep, so I often find that simply sleeping a bit more for two nights can cut my recovery time down.

I haven't had a problem getting psyched up for workouts this cycle, and I'm guessing it's mostly due to the fact I have so few of them. I think many runners try to spread their adrenaline and their focus over too many workouts in too short a period of time. I've done this myself when I've been in the middle of a heavy racing schedule, and it usually ends badly.

With your focus on shorter events, it probably gets more complicated. When I was trying to break 16 for the 5K it seemed I was more fatigued than when I'm in the thick of marathon training.

Mystery Coach said...

Mike (of California Running),

Your question is a paradox of being in speed shape. When you get into racing (speed) shape your mind ignores fatigue to a much higher degree than when it is not in racing shape. When in speed shape you say to yourself that felt easy and I can do it again tomorrow when in reality you have dug much deeper and need more time. You mind thinks it is recovered but your muscles are not, hence the likelihood of over training. As you move up the speed ladder the efforts have to be spaced further apart.

As a side note that is a great picture (on your blog) from an area that I use to run often.


Mike said...

Thanks Mike and Mystery Coach - I have a follow up question, however I don't really want to take up space/time on Mike's Blog. MC - is it OK if I shoot you an email w/ this question? If not, that's perfectly fine too.

Thanks again guys - much appreciated!!

Dusty said...

Good luck on your 8K!

Michael said...

Have you noticed that your recovery runs have been slower than in the past? Have you worked on making that so?

A friend of mine just started working with Jon Brown and he said that the biggest difference for him so far has been running his easy runs much slower.

Good luck on the weekend.