I cannot lie, last night’s run was awesome. Four miles of pure perfection. I hit negative splits without trying and just felt so so good…. but it was really hot out. So hot.
This run really got me thinking about how this half is shaping up against my half last Nov.
When I was just a couple weeks out from my first half I was feeling pretty burnt out on training. This time I am pumped up and ready to rock. I think a lot of it has to do with my attitude towards training in general.
The first training cycle I followed my plan to a tee (except for when my sciatica flared up). I was afraid to skip any of my runs or to cut them short because I thought I needed every mile of training in my schedule to get me to the finish line. I also got up at 4:30am every Saturday to get my long run in because that’s when you’re supposed to do a long run, right?
Right now I’m doing three things that I think really account for my lack of burnout.
1. Less Junk Miles, More Quality Miles
This time I’ve done things smarter and on my terms. If I’m really not feeling great I’ll cut a run short (or even skip it). I think eliminating these junk miles has helped my legs stay fresher despite doing more longer runs than last time. It also helps me focus on getting quality miles out of the ones I do run.
2. Picking a Good Time of Day for ME
I also haven’t done any of my runs at 4:30am. I am NOT a morning person. I hated getting up at 4:30am to eat, digest and then run before the weather hit 90 degrees last year. This time I’ve done most of my long runs at night, and that alone has prevented a lot of burn out for me.
Plus I also don’t have to go to bed at 9pm on Fridays which is nice!
3. Adding in Speedwork
Finally adding in speedwork has really helped to keep things interesting for me. Instead of having four boring, short-to-mid length week night runs I vary up how I get those miles in and play around with intervals.
I know none of these things are groundbreaking, but they have really helped me a lot.
I’m sure when I start marathon training later this year I’ll HAVE to start my long runs in the morning given the amount of time those runs will take me, but hopefully I’ll find a way to make getting out of bed at 4:30am interesting. Oh wait, that’s not possible : ) I’ll figure it out when the time comes I guess!
Are you a morning runner or a night runner?
Do you allow for any wiggle room in your training schedules or follow them to a tee?