The rained cleared out so that Monday morning was rather nice. I planned a shorter run but ended up running about 7 miles at an easy (light) pace. I felt good for the first time in about a week or two. For once I wasn't just draggin along.
I believe I have been paying the price for "fooling around" with my training. It sucked me into my lastest down period. Every time I run well it is been after a long period of very slow running with either some 100's or that 1 mile of speed. If I look back over this last prelude, I was doing quite a few longer tempo runs pacing Jake on Saturdays or the 10K tempo, DSE run in November. I was also not running Wednesday evening workouts at an easy pace. They were secret hard runs because as I felt decent I would push them down in pace.
The results were simple. I had trouble sleeping, felt beat up and sore and my tempo runs fell off drastically. I really had no choice but to cut way back last week and keep taking it easy for the immediate future.
My idea of running 2 x 800 on Wednesday evenings is not bad as long as I recognize that this is my hard run of the week. I am well into what Van Aaken called the 20-1 territory. I can do about one mile hard in 20. Now and then I can run other stuff but that has to be it for the week. No 800's on Wednesday and then tempo on Saturday for example.
I have been reading Brian Clarke's book 5K and 10K Training. He, who once ran a 4:06 mile under Bowerman back in the 1960's. The book makes good sense. I amy email him. I sound very much like his once a week hard day runner. Brian believes in every day running and things a runner can adjust to it if he or she keep recovery days short and very slow. He does not believe in hard training as such but rather at keeping easy days very easy and hard days at sub-tempo. he would have a veteran runner like me not going over 75% of max HR in the early going on my hard days. That would mean workouts like 6 x 800 at 75% with a short 80 second jog. Eventually after the runner adjusts, they can add in a hill circuit days also not exceeding 75% on the uphill portions.
75% for me is 155-158 HR.
His program calls for daily evaluation of workouts so that the runner can handle the next workout successfully.
I am not keen on every day running but would rather shift two of the recovery days to morning runs on days where I either run hard in the afternoon or do two easy recovery runs or...OR...just stick with 4 days aweek with 3 of them being BIG days.