I was sick for the first part of this week. I wasn't so sick that I couldn't run (and running actually made me feel slightly better), but I skipped anything that would have exposed other people to me. So no yoga and no gym.
Of course, this was on top of all the other times I've skipped that stuff over the last few weeks due to marathon recovery or social commitments or travel or other time constraints. And it's apparent in my running. My gait doesn't feel anywhere near as powerful or fluid as it did just a few months ago.
There's a magic formula, more or less, that works for me. It consists of:
- Very slow easy days.
- Regular substitution of pool-running for easy days.
- Workouts that are mostly controlled, with the last rep or mile run fast if I'm feeling good.
- Drills and strides before or after nearly every run.
- Yoga 1-2 times a week
- Upper body and core strengthwork at least twice a week
- Leg strengthwork, aka injury prevention work (emphasizing lunges and step-ups with heavy weights) at least twice a week.
Those last 4 points seem unimportant, but they're not. They're key to keeping my running gait smooth and powerful and symmetric. When I slack on them, my running deteriorates. I shuffle with no knee lift, I have no power, and I run slightly twisted.
It's time to get back on the horse (metaphorically), to return to doing the little things, not just the miles.
Monday: 7 miles easy (8:58) and foam rolling.
Tuesday: 7 miles, mostly easy, but with two half-mile pick-ups in 3:10 and 3:05 with a half-mile recovery in between.
Wednesday: 3 miles very easy (8:44) and foam rolling.
Thursday: 3 mile warm-up, 5 mile race in 32:20, and then 2 mile cool-down. Foam-rolling at night.
Friday: 10 "miles" of pool-running, followed by foam-rolling and yoga.
Saturday: 10 miles very easy (9:17), followed by upper body weights and core. Foam rolling in evening.
Sunday: 14 miles progressive, split as first 4 miles at 8:50 pace, next 5 at 7:47; last 5 at 6:53. Followed with injury prevention work and 1000 yards recovery swimming.