It can be very funny sometimes to see what 'images' I can find for certain words. This post contains a few .jpg's that I found for the word "recovery." Most images have to do with recovery related to either addiction or computer data - LOL. No running-related pics available! :)
Do you know what I mean when I refer to a 'recovery week' in running? I have referred to it before in blog posts. Many articles online and in running magazines/books refer to ideal training programs in which there is no more than a 10% increase in mileage each week for three weeks before dialling it back in the 4th week - recovery week - to give the body a bit of a rest before resuming the following week - Week #5 - with increasing mileage.
I knew when I started my current training program that it did not incorporate any "recovery weeks." There is a consistent mileage increase from Week #1 - Week #8 (starting with 13K and ending with 26K) during the Road Work phase before dialling it back during the Strength Training phase. I followed a similar plan for my sub-30 5K goal (the maximum mileage was 13K) and I really enjoyed the distinctive phases, hence why I opted to use the "HM in 2:20" plan.
However, my challenge recently has been trying to up with it! Phase I of the training program is the same for any PR (i.e. regardless if someone is aiming for a 2:20, 2:00, or 1:40 HM PR, we are all running the same scheduled runs during Phase I). Phase II and Phase III is when the workouts become PR-specific. My goal for Niagara Falls is 2:20, the 'slowest' PR schedule. :)
I decided to give this training plan an honest try and to stick to it as closely as possible to see what worked and what didn't work for me. I am always learning, and thankfully, the last 6-7 weeks have taught me a lot. There is one thing that I recognize about myself as a runner (at this time) ... I need my rest! I can keep it up for a certain period of time before I start getting the 'burned out' or 'exhausted to the bone' feeling. Because I have started feeling this way, I decided to tweak this week by turning it into a 'recovery week' instead of continuing with increased mileage.
This is why I 'only' ran 5K yesterday morning. I know myself well enough to know that I didn't have it in me for a fuller 10K + 8 striders. It was another hot and humid morning, the air was grossly thick, and even my dogs' running was sluggish. I just wanted a short one for a change, and I didn't want to feel pressured about fitting in my striders.
I haven't run 5K since my June sub-30 race. And it was really nice just to run this short distance again. :) It made me happy.
Last night, I had Kundalini yoga scheduled. Ben decided that he didn't want to go to the gym with me after his tough day at work so I was going solo. This is when I started thinking about running to the fitness club and back. :) It meant leaving my yoga mat at home and using one of the club's instead, but other than this, it was do-able. I ended up running 2.77 km to the fitness club, getting my sweat on in the humidity. You could say that I practiced hot yoga for the first time last night because I was still wiping away beads of sweat when assuming my sitting poses for our breathing kriyas . :) It was a very good class working on our glandular system, and one hour+ later, I was back outside, running and walking the 2.77 km home. It was a lot of fun and it was just what I needed for my runner's soul.
Today I followed these runs by doing this ..... sleeping in! No early morning run for me today. I didn't get out of bed for my scheduled 13 km. Instead I slept. And it was glorious! I needed this sleep more than I needed to run.
Tomorrow is a scheduled day off. I still might go for a run ... I think an 8 km + 8 striders, my Saturday scheduled run, would be ideal ...
... or I might not! :) We'll see.