I mentioned last week and earlier this week that I’m no longer training for Richmond (half or marathon). The truth is, the summer was so busy and my training cycle stretched out to the point where I lost the motivation to continue training. After several missed workouts in a row and weeks of low mileage, I decided to push the half to next year and just focus on cross-training and find consistency in working out again.
That said, this was not a wasted training cycle – there’s something to be learned from every period of training, including incomplete ones ;) Here’s a few things I learned from my Jul-Oct training cycle.
1. My body does best running 5 days a week
Let’s face it, this is the second time I’ve tried Hanson’s and the second time that I’ve gotten really run down around 6 weeks in. For some reason, running 6 days a week feels really great for my joints but just wipes out my immune system, so I’m going to stick with 5 run days during marathon/half training and 3-4 run days during off seasons.
2. I need shorter training cycles
This felt like the never-ending training cycle – I think part of the problem was that my base-building period prior to starting marathon training felt a lot like marathon training, in that I was running 5 days a week with a long run, tempo, and speedwork. For future off-seasons, I’m going to limit running to 4 days a week with shorter long runs and incorporate more cross-training for fun. I think that will prevent running burnouts, and I’m going to hold to a 16 week marathon training cycle (should be plenty as long as I maintain the ability to run an 8-10 mile long run during off season).
3. Heat training isn’t all that bad
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but looking back, I didn’t mind running in hot weather this summer. As long as I was prepared to adjust my paces/ intensity and carried plenty of water, all my runs felt pretty good and I felt pretty hard core running in 80+ temps. That said, running in 40-60 degrees is still my happy range :D
4. I need to start beating the blerch again
You know the blerch, right? That little voice that tells you to go back to bed, skip a run and get some rest, catch up on a little TV, enjoy a lazy Saturday morning? Well, I listened to the blerch a little too often this summer, resulting in missed runs and low mileage weeks. Next cycle, I’m going to find a more consistent routine and find ways to keep myself motivated with my eyes on the prize…and not on my comfy bed ;)
5. This older body needs more yoga
I seriously neglected yoga this training cycle, and my legs and hips really suffered as a result. I’m going to start finding time for yoga again, and hopefully it’ll stay in my routine when marathon training starts next year!