Week 6: Recovery (37 miles)

The week before last was meant to be a cut back week.  At the end of the week I added up miles and the total was 62 (Week 5 review).  That wasn’t the intent so during week 6, I stuck true to having a cut back week.  I had hoped for a 40 mile week but hadn’t given it much thought.  While I felt great during week five and week 6, I know it’s better to be proactive with recovery.

In running, it is easy to “get away with things” when you are uninjured and healthy.  When you get injured you look back and say…that was a dumb mistake.  Hind sight is always clearer.  I decided to get serious and cut back.

I trust you to google articles about why cutting your mileage and taking extra rest is good.  The google articles will be better written and more knowledgeable.

Here is one I like from Runners World. 

Personally I know if I don’t cut back miles for some weeks, I will be injured.  Since I would prefer to stay injury free, I cut mileage this week.

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 5.3 miles snowy and easy
Wednesday: AMT cross training (1 hour)
Thursday: 10.6 miles treadmill 8:57 pace
Friday: Rest
Saturday 7.2 miles easy
Sunday: Wilmington 10 mile race (plus 2 miles warmup/cooldown)
Total:  37 miles

I had a solid week.  This week allowed me to recoup and to recover.  I wasn’t breaking any personal mileage records but these are necessary parts of training (a lesson I’ve often overlooked).

On a side note since I had more free time this week, I finally updated my racing schedule.  My main goal is to get through all of these races injury free.  As I get closer, I’ll make more adjustments.

Overall thoughts:

With the exception of my race on Thursday, my runs were easy so I could recover.  I didn’t stress that I only ran a few miles.  I wanted to keep a midweek longer run in there (instead of 12-14, I did 10).  Other then that everything felt good.

Random thoughts:

I slipped and fell on my butt on Tuesday’s run.  Luckily, I didn’t break anything.  I also dropped a drawer on my (recovered stress fracture) foot so that was a double knock out.

Wednesday I cross trained because I do believe that keeps me healthy.

On Thursday, it was too cold for me to want to go outside…so I didn’t.  I posted few weeks ago that it didn’t matter where you ran as long as you were staying active.  I still believe that.  I’ll run wherever doesn’t feel bad.

I did a10 miler in Delaware to see where I was with endurance.  The course itself was hilly and challenging.

Update: I ran the race in a 6:42 average pace and was 2nd female overall. I negative split the entire race and have no complaints. I had a great race.

Other than that, not too much else going on this week.  I rested and recovered and now I feel ready to conquer the world…or at least return to high mileage weeks.  As of now I’m taking two weeks off from racing and just focusing on building up more endurance.  If I can find a race 1/18 or 1/24 I will do it but I’m not stressing.

Question for you: How often do you take rest and recovery weeks?

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  1. I hope your 10 miler went well! I ran a lot this week but next week is cut back for the half and the week after I am taking a few days off to recover. I have a lot of races I went to do in the coming months but I want to be careful after the half and really take it easy, to make sure I get to the start lines of those races (you can’t PR if you can’t start).

    I do agree that being injured changes your mindset, I am now a last-minute registrant for everything and I also have learned to say no and not do a race just because friends are doing it, etc. Hope your foot is okay after dropping the drawer on it, one of my friends dropped the vacuum cleaner on her big toe and had to miss a race because it hurt… sometimes the awkwardness injuries are worse than the running ones…

  2. Congratulations on an amazing race! Your speed is definitely on its way back…I mean to me that’s a dream race, but I know you have an even higher gear waiting to return.

    Again you’re a shining example of the common sense that I always neglect. I think it’s particularly sensible to be taking a cutback week when the weather is so dangerous and abysmal at the moment!

  3. Taking rests and recovery weeks are important. Right now I take a week off of lifting every 10-12 weeks, but I still exercise during that week, just not my normal routine.

  4. Every couple weeks I do a cross-train week where I do non-running activities 4 out of 7 days. The non-impact keeps my legs from breaking down and the exercise maintains my aerobic capacity. I hate doing it usually because it’s boring, but it helps keep me healthy.

  5. WOW congrats on the race!!! That is fantastic. Congrats on being smart too. It’s challenging to cut back on mileage when you’re feeling good but you’re absolutely doing the right thing!

  6. I lower my mileage for a week once every three weeks or so. It’s a nice mental break for me as much as a physical one. It’s nice to hear someone else talk about the benefits of cross training and not caring where you run! As long as you’re getting the work done, it doesn’t matter where it happens!

  7. “In running, it is easy to “get away with things” when you are uninjured and healthy. When you get injured you look back and say…that was a dumb mistake. Hind sight is always clearer. ”

    Yes, yes and yes. I just looked back on my training for my first marathon. (I became injured in the process.) And I saw that one week 19 miles of running, the next 41!? What was I thinking. Answer: I wasn’t! Glad you are taking recovery weeks, they are crucial.

  8. I’ve followed a four-week periodization schedule the past two years–three weeks “on” and one week “off.” This schedule works well. I’m not 100 percent sure what I’m going to do about recovery days, though. I’m thinking one every 10-12 days, but we’ll see.

  9. I’ve built pull back weeks into my training plan, about every three weeks I think?. When I trained for my first half last fall, we had pull back weeks, but I don’t think I pulled back enough, given that it was my first half – I wanted to go big all the time. This time I think I will take advantage of those weeks so I can stay healthy.

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