Maybe it’s not always pretty. Or comfortable.
Because on the days it’s not pretty or comfortable, it’s pretty damn awesome. That day was today. I started Week 15 out with a bang, so I hope to keep it going. Allow me to elaborate…
On the schedule for today was my usual ante-meridian lifting session, followed by some mile repeats in the post-meridian hours. Some new exercises in my strength routine might have me feeling a little sore come tomorrow; I’m not particularly concerned with this. The smashing success of the day, however, was my mile repeat session. Only five today (trust me, these will build up in no time), but I hammered through this session with much greater finesse than that of my previous bout with mile repeats in my hard week. Meal timing played a big role, as I switched things around a bit, and I did not allow myself to consume anything – aside from small amounts of water here and there – within the two hours before the start of my session. Definitely a better idea. Or maybe it also has something to do with good training and getting stronger and adapting and giving myself a good recovery week….hmmmm….there could be a pattern here.
Anyway. The pace at which I was running felt almost easy today. I was cruisin’! Although I do not want it to be easy, I also do not want it to be overly challenging, either, because that would defeat the purpose of the exercise. Five one-mile repeats, with two minutes rest between, is not so bad. When that number becomes ten or 15 repeats (five or six will feel like a breeze then – see what I’m getting at?), at the same pace with the same rest interval, well, that could be a different story. If I always try to adjust my pace for just this one day, then I’m never going to be able to develop consistency – and therefore get an adaptation from it – if it is not a consistently experienced stress. I see this happen all too often with many people. They want to go hard, now, and if the workout is not hard RIGHT NOW, then it can’t be doing anything. Au contraire – if you always go hard, and as a result are probably doing a lot of training above your means, you are doing a lot of what Dr. Jack Daniels calls “quality junk training.” Yes, you are working hard (that’s great), but in the long run, physiologically speaking, you aren’t doing yourself any favors. You’re actually doing more harm than good, and you will inevitably slow down your progress. It may seem easy now, but it will progressively become more challenging.You cannot forget that; you cannot forget about what lies ahead and the path you are taking to get there. You cannot do it all at once. You build up to it.
My goal with these repeats is to work the strength of the middle-miles; the strength to keep going once the run gets tough. I know the endurance is there, but I want to maximize strength-endurance, my pace-endurance. No, I cannot reveal what that is.
I was hoping to get more technical with this, specifically with my reference to Jack Daniels, but it’s getting to be the quitting time of the day. I won’t leave everyone hanging on all that information, though, so expect to see something in the coming days regarding training quality.