I set up my training schedule so every 4th week I see a dip in my weekly mileage and a shorter long run. From what I’ve read, giving yourself a week of lower mileage allows you to keep up with your training, but gives your body adequate time to recover. Although I like to see my mileage increase each week, I would also like to avoid injury. I hope it will also help me to avoid burnout from trying to always top my distance from the previous week.
Over the past 4 weeks I ran 6, 7, 8, and 9 miles. Today it was time to drop back to the 6. Maggie and I met for a late morning run. I expected our normal running trail to be less crowded today since the Houston Marathon is tomorrow, but it was busier than usual and filled with lots of walkers. Which meant lots of zig-zagging around other people.
The last time I ran 6 miles (on January 2, 2011), I ran at a pace of 11:09/mile and finished in 1:06:54. It is amazing to see the improvements I have made after just one month of following my training plan. I cut more than a minute per mile off my pace! Our splits:
- Mile 1: 10:00
- Mile 2: 9:49
- Mile 3: 9:58
- Mile 4: 9:51
- Mile 5: 10:12
- Mile 6: 9:36
- Total: 59:26 (9:55 average pace)
That’s more than 7 minutes off of my previous 6 miles. And it felt pretty good! By the time we hit mile 5 I could feel myself getting tired. I know it’s all mental, but I wanted to slow down a bit so I could really push it in the final mile. My left knee started hurting during the last half mile, but it wasn’t terrible. We sprinted the last 0.20 miles as fast as we could to have a strong finish.
I’ve noticed these past 3 weeks that I feel really sleepy after these long runs. When I get home I always stretch and foam roll, and then shower before eating some lunch. After lunch I have been falling asleep on the couch (while cuddling my puppy – it always seems to fit her nap schedule!)… but I’m not sure why I feel so tired.
I’ve never been much of a napper. Usually when I nap I have trouble falling asleep at night. I thought the past few weeks were because 8 and 9 miles were farther than I’ve ever run, but I didn’t expect to feel so sleepy after just 6 miles today. I wish I didn’t get so tired, because between the long run and my nap, I feel like I’ve lost most of my Saturday.
Do you take naps after your long runs?