This week was 57 miles of running and 7000 yards of swimming -- training log is here.
More training, and it’s nice to be in the swing of things (fingers crossed). My fitness is returning, in that weird way that is both frustratingly slow and surprisingly quick – anyone who’s come back from a long period of injury knows what I’m talking about :). During intervals on Tuesday, I ran essentially the same paces I did the week before, but with a difference – last week the effort was too hard; this week the effort was controlled and relaxed. Yay for progress.
Of course, I then made the naïve mistake of trying to hang with my old peeps during tempo on Friday. That was a mistake. I was shooting for 4 miles, but as I got towards the 3 mile mark, I realized I was starting to struggle and go anaerobic – not the purpose of tempo. So I shut it down at 5K, to avoid digging myself into a deeper hole. And of course, immediately felt guilty for doing so, though I knew it was the right call. Very weird blend of emotions.
I think it’s that tempos on the track serve two functions – they’re a physical workout (running a set period of time at the top end of your aerobic range), and also a mental workout (maintaining focus and concentration and positivity while running what seems like endless laps). If you're straining mentally, well, that’s fine and good and part of the purpose of the workout, and you need to keep going to practice dealing with it. If you’re straining physically, then you need to pull the plug, since you’re running too hard for the purpose of the workout. But, of course pulling the plug means that you've abandoned the mental part of the workout. The right decision from a physiological standpoint is also not the best choice mentally.
Easy solution to both, though. Run the tempo smarter next time. :)