After putting together a perfect 20 mile tempo and another great workout, it was important to recover for the next session. I felt pretty flat the next three days but did not have any significant pains or soreness. On Sunday morning I was supposed to do a session of 4×2 mile at about half-marathon pace with 2 minutes recovery. I warmed up three miles and felt flat. I did a full set of drills, strides, switched into flats and did 3×200 with 200 jog to get fully warmed up. I couldn’t break 34 seconds and felt like I was all-out. My coach, Brad Hudson, noticed immediately and right as I was about to start the workout he asked if it would be better to hold off on the session until later. I agreed, jogged another mile and went home. Another 8 hours, a nap, and some good calories later he picked me back up to head out to Lorane Highway to try the workout again. Another three miles warm-up, drills, and a 200 into the wind in 32. He noticed I looked smoother and I certainly felt smoother. I ended up hitting the workout right at the goal times. I averaged more than five seconds per mile faster than when I did 10 x 1 mile off 2 minutes recovery a few weeks ago.
What are the takeaway messages from this workout? First, Brad is a phenomenal coach to not only see that I was not ready for the workout in the AM but knowing that it would be best to push it back to the PM. Remaining positive and letting me know it was a good decision was also very important. (Note: check out http://HudsonTrainingSystems.com if you are interested in being coached by Brad). Second, do not force a workout if it’s on the plan. Make sure you are recovered and ready for the workout. As an athlete it is hard to make the decision yourself, but you have to be wise and confident enough to know sometimes it is best to wait on the workout. Third, even giving yourself an addition 8 hours during the day can make a difference. Fourth, consistency in training is more important than any single workout set for a specific time. I’ve strung together several weeks and months of quality workouts and high mileage. No single workout is going to significantly improve my fitness between now and Grandma’s Marathon. The training I did in April prepared me for the training in May which prepared me for these challenging workouts now. Training is a cumulative process so enjoy the ride, stay positive, and always be consistent.
Speaking of consistency, it’s time to head out for an easy five miles, drills, and hill sprints. Another long marathon pace workout tomorrow is on the game plan.