Saturday came and it was time to see if the recovery had been sufficient. The plan was 4x3k repeats at 6:20 mile pace, with half a mile of recovery. Michael joined me again, though he voiced his doubts how long he would be able to stay on pace. Last week's workout had not been great as we never managed to hit the right effort. I think I had a tendency to slow down whenever Michael slipped behind a little bit to help him catch up. This time I just tried to hit the pace myself, acting as somewhat of a pacemaker, and as it turn out Michael was perfectly capable of staying with me. We didn't make things easier for us by running the first and third on a slightly uphill road (well, you try and find a flat 3 km stretch!) but the pace was good. Michael then cut the second and third repeat short, dropping out soon after the 2k mark, but we caught up again on the recovery section. The fourth was bang on pace again. I was quite impressed with Michael who managed to run about 11k at pretty much his 10k race pace, but I was just as pleased at nailing the workout myself; feeling challenged but always keeping plenty in reserve and always managing to run controlled and relaxed.
Sunday would show how much I had really recovered by doing a long run. You can't fake those back-to-back workouts, if you're not in shape it is going to show up. The legs were a bit sluggish during the early miles but I settled into 7:30 pace quickly enough. With these kind of workouts I usually have to slow myself down considerably during the first half, but this time that was not an issue, the legs did not feel like going faster anyway, at least not at first. I must have accelerated at some point after the halfway mark because the next time I checked the Garmin I was doing close to 7-minute pace and the average had dropped to 7:23, though that was still perfectly acceptable. Initially, with the sluggish legs, I decided to just run 20 miles at an easy effort but when I started to feel better I decided to run a few faster miles at the end after all, and I pushed the effort from the 15 mile point onwards. The effort now became rather challenging but it felt sustainable enough and I averaged 6:30 pace until I got home. That's a bit faster than planned marathon pace, and indeed the effort felt tougher than marathon effort, but I got home just fine.
I take from that that a few easier days managed to get me back on a even keel. Now it's time to recover again from that weekend and then build on that once more.
Tralee is nine week away. I am feeling really positive about it.
- 10 Jan
- 10.7 miles, 1:32:48, 8:40 pace, HR 141
Hill Drills: strides, thigh drive, downhill strides, high knees
- 11 Jan
- 8 miles, 59:46, 7:28 pace, HR 137
- 12 Jan
- 12.5 miles, 1:26:43, 6:56 pace, HR 151
4x3k at 6:22, 6:15, 6:18, 6:21, 6:20 pace
- 13 Jan
- 20 miles, 2:23:07, 7:09 pace, HR 146
15 miles @ 7:23 (HR 141), 5 miles @ 6:30 pace (HR 162)