Every day I play my work break plans by ear depending on my energy levels, and decide whether I’m going to walk or run on work breaks. At my Master’s/fortysomething stage of life, that’s how you need to be.
Today it’s somewhat humid for Vegas (already 90°F, 45% humidity). Today, despite decent sleep, I’m feeling somewhat worn out. A work break run today would feel like a tired chore, and that’s my body telling me to just walk today, especially with plans for a workout tonight after work.
I already have a scheduled day off tomorrow, but that just means I can get some extra rest ahead of Friday’s and Saturday’s planned workouts. Plus, after a lot of activity the last couple weeks, including back to back weekend trips (I do plan to stay in town this weekend), this is a good time for a stepback week.
My schedule morphs like an amoeba, maintain a generally consistent form but often shapeshifting depending on how my needs evolve during training. I recognize the need to prioritize the long workouts, to make sure I strength train and get in one or two sessions of challenging running outside of the long runs.
I recognize the importance of general consistency, not necessarily following a training plan close to the letter, but making sure that every week I execute several workouts, that I run most days, stay meaningfully active every day and maintain a productive diet that facilitates my training and health.
I don’t need to get it exactly right all the time, so long as my body of work over time is a consistent collection of regular runs, workouts, training, and a consistent mix of volume plus recovery periods.
At this point, it’s clear to me that slow running in workouts isn’t helping me unless I’m warming up or cooling down, unless the workout is long and aerobic endurance is the objective, or the slow jogging is done in brief spurts during a walk or similar to help flush the bloodstream and kickstart recovery.
I want to adhere to the general 80/20 Endurance rule, but I always forget that my easy walks in a way are part of that easy 80%, even if they are rather easy, too easy to be an actual workout. This is in part because of the Vegas heat outside. I also like to keep in mind that my strength training is part of that hard 20%, even if these brief, hard bursts of effort aren’t an aerobic activity.
I charted a base template of a typical week’s workout plan, factoring in my weekday walking as easy minutes and my two weekly strength workouts as hard minutes. I wrote in two hard workouts, one speed rep workout and an hour long tempo/M-pace run, plus a 2.5 hour long run. The speed and tempo workouts include an easy 20 minute aerobic warmup (whether running or cross training).
It all added up to about 81% easy training and 19% hard training. If the long run is shortened to 2 hours flat the split is 79.8% easy, 20.2% hard.
So at least for the following week I’ll experiment with this approach, a sort of hybrid FIRST scheduule with three quality workouts (long run, tempo run, speed repeats) and just walking during the workweek, with strength training twice a week.
Monday: Work break walking, PM speed repeats
Tuesday: Work break walking, PM swolework
Wednesday: Work break walking, PM hour long tempo run
Thursday: Work break walking, PM swolework
Friday: Work break walking, no PM workout
Saturday: 2.0-2.5 hour long run
Sunday: Recovery day
If it feels good and I feel like I’m getting good workouts from it, I’ll risk my overall training to continue. I’ll likely add quality tempo segments to the long run as I progress, which will either require I add other aerobic work to stay at 80/20, or to downshift the tempo and speed sessions. I’ll probably also add cross training or other 45+ minute aerobic runs to the schedule if I feel it’s way too easy. I will also move scheduled workouts around to accomodate scheduled midweek rest days.
Let’s see how this goes.