Various thoughts as of 6/13/2022

  • I finally spent the last few weeks on an extended break. After coming back from Memorial Day Weekend in Flagstaff I did one 50 minute run after work the next day, then (in part because of continued sleep problems) I took it easy the rest of the workweek. I did some break running that Friday, strength trained Friday and Sunday, run Monday and Tuesday and basically took all of last workweek off from training. I was honestly rather tired, and decided to just make it an extended break.
  • I did a sizable cross-train session this Saturday, running 5K on the treadmill, strength training, easy 20 minute sessions on the spin bike and elliptical. After taking the last week basically off, I wanted to do some extended easy work knowing I was going to take it easy the rest of the weekend, which I did.
  • One factor in why I’ve been so tired the last few weeks: Vegas is obviously heating up for summer. Last week in particular was a heat wave and temps have hit 103-105°F. The heat subtlely saps your energy in general. Taking it easy was probably not a bad idea, especially given that following Van 2022 I continued running for a couple weeks afterward, so I never really took a true extended post-marathon break. At least I didn’t take a break due to injury or legit burnout. I just noticed I was tired, and with no goal races on the horizon I decided to just take it easy.
  • I ended up not giving up coffee, just yet. The time may be right to give it a go, but I get a lot out of a morning routine over a cup of coffee so I’ll keep drinking it for now.
  • I have settled into a strength training progression that’s now working quite well: I have ten base exercises (four pull exercises, four push exercises, and for core/abs I usually do hanging raises and pivot to sit-ups if the captain’s chair isn’t available) done between a two day split.
  • I started with 4 sets of each at a manageable but demanding weight (the hanging raises are following a progression since they’re bodyweight and barring gluttony and sloth that isn’t increasing; I can add weight for the sit-ups if needed).
  • I start by doing each set at 8 reps, and after one day of each, I increase to sets of 9 reps. After one more day of each, I increase to sets of 10, and so on.
  • Once I complete training days with sets of 12 reps without any problems, I then increase the weight on every exercise by 5-10 pounds depending on the exercise, and then reduce to sets of 8 reps with the heavier weight (or more demanding core exercise). Once again, after a day of each split, I increase to 9 reps, and so on. After 12 reps of each split, I add weight again, repeat.
  • This so far has been working quite well, and I will continue with this strength approach however many days per week I can reasonably strength train. I’ve been resting if sore, and have scheduled rest days on top of that. If I only strength train twice in a week, fine, and if I manage to train 4-5 days in a week with no problems, that’s also fine.
  • I tinkered with work day runs and according to my Forerunner 945 that’s helped quitee a bit with quick heat acclimation (I went from 5% to 70% in about a week). But the UV index is high (even in the morning it’s basically camped at 10, which means 10-20 straight minutes of sun should burn you) and my arms while not burned have been a bit irritated the last week. I not only took it easy last week on running but stayed in shade on whatever walking I did while limiting my overall time outside.
  • I’ll probably just stick to treadmill running for most run training until the fall. Now and again I’ll run outside for some heat/sun exposure (in fact I plan to today, though I only plan to do it today for this week). This is more for skin protection than it is for avoiding runs in hot weather. If I could handle running easy for 40-60 minutes in 90°F weather I’d do it but it’s the sun exposure that’s my problem there.
  • I’m looking at following a modified 80/20 Running marathon plan for summer, as the midweek workouts don’t ask for more than 60-65 minutes are designed to be done uninterrupted which makes them good for treadmill work, and the plan permits cross training out of easy run workouts as needed.
  • Despite the long break, my marathon shape hasn’t fallen too far, at 54% now compared to the 60’s when I ran Van 2022. I project it to fall to about 47-48% before levelling off and improving again.
  • I intend to run as many 5K-10K races this fall as I can get away with, and the marathon training should get me in good enough shape by October that I can race just about everything up to the Half Marathon distance. The Hoover Dam Half/Full Marathon is in December, and that would be the first Half I’ve run in almost 4 years. It’s been that long. Prior to that, there’s as many as 5-6 other races at 5K-10K that I could do.
  • As for now, priority one is building on strength training with the next priority being getting back to regular 40+ minute runs, mostly easy with a couple of brief bits of speedwork and a longer weekend run mixed in each week. All of this will be on the treadmill, at a sustainably easy set of paces I’ve finally locked into after months of experimenting and tinkering.

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