Checking In on 6/21/2021

Here’s what I’m dealing with in training right now for Indy Monumental:

My weight hasn’t moved much, though it has consistently, gradually trended slightly down dating back to early April. I’m doggedly working towards 165, my ideal racing weight from earlier, and after high watering at around 184 I’ve only gotten it to camp around 178-180, though the weekly average has steadily declined each week.

While not happy with how slowly it’s moving in light of how much dietary and exercise work I’ve had to do to keep it moving in the right direction… the results have been sustainable and positive, not just with the weight number but also my energy levels in training (not always great but largely better) and in life. My body fat has dropped from the 20-22% range back down to a consistent 19-20% range. Key for me is maintaining muscle as I lose body fat.

I’ve always struggled year over year to sleep well in summer and this summer so far has been no exception. Part of that is my tuned in circadian rhythms. The sun stays up until 8-9pm local time, and my body simply has a hard time turning down at 7-8pm. Plus, the heat is enough that my A/C simply can’t cool the room enough for me to turn down and get to sleep until later in the evening.

But I need to turn in that early for waking at 5-6am to work for me, so staying up later as a habit probably isn’t a good idea (plus, with Indy starting at 8am EDT, I need to be used to being awake and probably also training at 5am local time).

While I’m now battling being able to get to sleep (no matter how sleepy I may be), I’m sleeping through the night a lot better than I was before.

The hot Vegas summer now in full force has hit my training two-fold. First, the mornings are so warm (85-95°F, 30-35°C) that I’ve had to scale back or table some workouts. I’m now erring on the side of aerobic endurance with longer slower runs, making the quality speed workouts shorter (less than 30min), and even skipping some morning foundation runs entirely while possibly cross training later in the day to compensate. My heart rate variability, body battery and stress scores indicate the resulting breaks during the week from morning training and relentless all-day stress are helping me.

I am however still doing work break jogs. Yes, in the extreme 100+°F heat (35-45°C). These are still brief, almost never exceeding 1500m, with the lunch runs split into single kilometer jogs with a lengthy rest between. None of these efforts are harder than a maybe-light-footed jog.

The heat acclimation from this combined with the brevity of these efforts is the best of several worlds, and helps close the gap with my ability to handle the (lesser) heat in my morning workouts. If rather tired on a given afternoon, however, I’ll just walk during the break. I play these by ear but have consistently ran given the option.

And again, some days I fully schedule for rest from running, so I walk during all work breaks on these days. I have about 1-2 of these per week.

My current main goals now are to get one or more easy midweek morning runs to an hour, consistently do at least one quality speed workout per week, and either do a long run or a long cross training workout each weekend. Even if I’m not happy with the progress in my given training plan… if I consistently practice these elements each week, I’ll have at least made or maintained satisfactory progress towards fall marathon fitness.

That’s where I’m at for now. More to come as it develops.

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