As I mentioned earlier this week, I’m at a crossroads with my running because I seem to be getting slower…
True, I haven’t been doing any sort of speed work since last fall, but unlike previous winters while between training cycles, my pace has slowed significantly. So slow, that I’m having difficulty keeping up with my usual running friends.
I first asked myself if perhaps I’m experiencing burnout, or if I’m under-training. Other than the couple of days I took off in early January with an angry foot, and then the week in February while experiencing vertigo, my running hasn’t changed much from the fall.
One thought that keeps popping up is my age and recovery time. I can feel that it takes my body longer to recover from my longer runs and races than previously. If that’s the case, wouldn’t it make sense that it’s taking my body longer to recover from all of my runs and my strength training? Perhaps I just need to run smarter in order to get the results I want.
In the past, bringing speed-work back into my training schedule meant an extra day of running for me; however, back in the day it wasn’t a huge deal. During my thirties I ran six days a week, my forties five days a week, and early on in my fifties I ran four days a week. Today I know that I’m much better off running less, and cross-training more.
So where does this leave me? Last week I ordered Runner’s World Run Less Run Faster (affiliate link), and it came on Thursday. I’ve been flipping through it, highlighting pace charts, info on the three key runs, etc. I’m using my fall 5K race time of 25:00 as my immediate pace for determining my training paces; however, I’ve also highlighted the paces for a 24:20 5K, my race time from two summers ago to use for training for my summer and fall races.
Taking my current running schedule of days I meet my friends into consideration, I came up with the following plan of attack. It’s really not that different than what I was already doing, only now every workout will have a purpose.
- My Planned Weekly Training Schedule:
- Sunday – yoga
- Monday – lift
- Tuesday – track workout
- Wednesday – lift and cycle
- Thursday – tempo run
- Friday – lift
- Saturday – long run
Yesterday I changed up the remaining eight weeks of my training cycle getting me ready for Ragnar Trail Richmond to incorporate my new Run Less Run Smarter plan. After Richmond, I’ll have three weeks until the Spring Chicago Half. The goal at Richmond will be to keep up with Meagan on the trails, and the goal at Chicago will be to have a great time running along Lake Michigan with Janet, Julie, and Joseph.
My first run called for track repeats, which I did on my treadmill despite how absolutely gorgeous it was outside. Not sure whether or not I could use one of the local high school tracks in the middle of the day, I chose to play it safe and run at home. Not wanting to do too-much-too-soon, I cut my 400-meter intervals back to eight instead of twelve, and used the recommended ninety second easy run recovery between each interval. I started and ended the workout with a one-mile easy run. I pushed hard, but it went well.
Earlier I mentioned how I feel that I’ve been getting… I just read in my new Run Less Run Faster book that “the slowing of performance times accelerates after age 55 with annual performance decrement ranging from 1 percent to 2.5 percent.” Oh snap, I’ve got a lot of work to do to turn back the clock!
- How’s your training going? Any struggles?
- What training programs/methods have you tried?
- Have you read Run Less Run Faster?
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means if you click on the blue product link and then make a purchase, I will receive a small commission for referring you. You will pay no more or less for the product; however, Amazon will show their gratitude for my referral by paying me.
Happy Running! ~ Deb