6 Miles or Dip Week

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?


7 responses to “6 Miles or Dip Week

  1. I went to Memorial Park to run this morning and it was MUCH more crowded than I expected!!

    I don’t want to nap right after my run but a few hours later (as in, I’m checking blogs now and will nap in .3 seconds).

    Great job on dropping time!!

  2. That’s awesome! I pushed myself on my short run today (2 miles), and I think I’ve been taking it too easy on myself, so I’m gonna try to pick up the speed a little bit. It’s so great to see such an improvement over a short period of time!

  3. I didn’t nap after a long run until last week. I was so tired and the weeks before that I had trouble staying awake. Since I run on my long runs Saturday morning I don’t like falling asleep at night. So I took a nap and it felt great. Think I’m going to keep on doing that, depending on how I feel of course.

    My schedule has recovery weeks too, after every 3 weeks I have a drop in mileage too. My recovery week is next week and I have to say I love having them because an easy week in the schedule is nice too from time to time.

    Great improvement on those 6 miles.

    • I’ve been finding I have a hard time staying awake too – a little nap does feel good. But I hope I get used to the long runs so I don’t have to nap every week!

  4. Oh, my, yes!!! I am always EXHAUSTED after my long runs!! Naps are my friend 🙂 Great run…that is amazing how much faster you are from just a month ago! Nice job! 🙂

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