Three weeks into Higdon Intermediate Marathon 2, and am thrilled to report that I haven’t missed a single run workout. Every scheduled day, every pace run day, every long run, I’ve gotten the run in.
This could be ridiculous to celebrate, but as I’ve mentioned I’ve had all sorts of challenges in life sticking to a pre-written training plan. And being able to do it plus seeing the progress I’m making in being able to do it is almost like a kid having a new toy.
Not to mention, after all the injury problems in 2021 it’s great to get through extended runs without problems and feel okay in the hours/days afterward. Never minding injury… just getting through a long run and not feeling beat up physically in the day or so afterward feels great. I had to go to Target in the afternoon, hours after a 13 miler, and running from the car to the store I didn’t feel all that sore. If I had to run another 4 miles easy right then I probably could have (of course, I didn’t).
Now, I also have not been cross training and it’s been about two weeks since I’ve strength trained. The only other exercise I’ve done outside of my runs is walking during work breaks. I didn’t intentionally stop: I played each day by feel and decided most evenings after work to just go home given fatigue, hunger, and whatever else. The added recovery from not doing those things has probably helped with adapting to the restored training load, though I’ll probably re-introduce strength training and yoga this week. I’ll probably keep it to one session a week, though.
The next gateway in training now is to get the long run past the 13 mile barrier, as 13.4 is as far as I was able to go during the ill fated Indy training, and it’s now been over a year since I’ve gone farther than the Half Marathon distance. Not running a marathon in three years will do that you! At least now it feels totally reasonable to do, and I’ve gotten myself physically back into a better place to handle higher run volume.
I don’t think all the cross training of the last 2.5 years was bad, though at this point and time it’s probably not what I need now. I need to be running as much as I reasonably can. And that also means I don’t need all that much speed or tempo work now. Medium length pace runs every week or two, the occasional speed play on fresher Tuesdays, and the occasional required sprint across a street are probably all I need.
Thanks to a race this week, this upcoming week will be somewhat lighter on run volume, and this week’s long run will drop back to a now-rather-easy 8 miles. While a maybe-monthly race may be all the serious fitness-testing I need aside from pace runs, I’m thinking of sneaking in a mile time trial or an interval session here and there, depending on how much other demanding running is on that week’s schedule. Tuesdays work for these because those scheduled runs are shorter, easy, and coming off a recovery day on the schedule (Higdon schedules cross training, though as mentioned I’ve been skipping it and making Monday a rest day). The following days’ runs are easy, and the longer Wednesday run following this matches the weekend pattern of a challenging moderate run followed by the long run.
So we’ll keep this moving and see how it feels. More to come.