Monday, December 24, 2012

December 17-23: Awesome Pre-Recovery Training Week

Last week capped off a pretty solid three week block of training for the sub-4 hour goal at the Myrtle Beach Marathon. There had been a bunch of solidly-paced tempo runs and track workouts during the weeks, and consistently-growing long runs on the weekends. I finished last week off with a track workout including 8 800s averaging 3:41 and a 17 mile long run at a relatively consistent pace, both of which were encouraging steps towards that sub-4 hour marathon.

High on that progress, and an absolutely beautiful mid-day run around the sights of downtown DC on Tuesday, I spent a good deal of the week grumpy about the upcoming recovery week our coach had warned us about. Christmas? Pshhhhhhhhhh who cares? I have swimming to do! A race to train for! THERE IS NOT TIME TO RECOVER OR REST.

And then, I finally found myself exhausted Saturday afternoon, and even slept 8.5 hours on Saturday night.

I guess it’s time, isn’t it? Just don’t expect me to be un-grumpy about it.

Monday: Rest day.

Tuesday: 3200 yards of swimming in the morning, next to Hillary Biscay. In the afternoon, a 7.67 mile run with a 20 minute tempo effort around the Tidal Basin at 8:23 pace, followed by 5 hill repeats on Capitol Hill. Absolutely amazing day for a beautiful run, even with the wind picking up.

Wednesday: 3200 meters of swimming with Rachel in the morning, then a little over half an hour of strength training and stretching right after leaving the pool. Finished the day with a 5.86 mile track workout in the evening with 8x800 split as 3:52-3:44-3:41-3:39-3:39-3:35-3:39-3:39.

Thursday: A 1:20 bike trainer ride in the morning, with 3x3 minutes in hard gear and 5x5 minutes at high cadence.

Friday: 3800 yards with the DC Tri Masters in the morning, which was a fun last-minute get together open to the entire club. I dropped a few of 2:35 200s, and then headed to the gym for 45 minutes of leg-focused lifting. Perfectly rational to do 24 hours before a 17 mile run.

Saturday: A 17 mile run with Rachel in very windy conditions, averaging 9:39 pace with relatively consistent splits given the fact that there were 40-50 mph wind gusts. There were several points that I wanted to whimper, complain, yell, and/or curse, but decided that I shouldn’t be bringing down a first-time marathon trainee running next to me, so I (generally) contained myself and pushed through the conditions. Immediately followed the run with 3000 meters of lazy back-of-the-lane swimming at DCRP Masters practice.

Sunday: An hour and a half of steady spinning on the trainer in the morning, followed by 3500 yards of swimming in the afternoon. The grand finale of the week included a workout with some current athletes on the team I coach, as well as a bunch of alumni. This included:

  • One lap of ballet leg (traveling 25 yards headfirst in this position)

  • Some underwater lengths (my favorite)
  • A bunch of spins

  • Multiple attempts at a lift
  • And a ton of eggbeater boosts (again, see video below)

Not a traditional workout, but still fun. And it’s all about the fun, especially heading into recovery week.

Which, for the record, I still hate. Even if it's necessary.


  1. Wow, impressive training week! I definitely need to rest and recover this week, too. I came home Friday and totally crashed--I felt so drained and took two rest days. Lots of easy, recovery runs on the docket this week, plus hopefully a few swims. Merry Christmas Eve!

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  3. I think we have the same opinions of rest and recovery weeks/days.

    Necessary evil though, particularly if you don't want to end up on enforced rest and then have your running pace go to Hell in the meantime. Oh, wait...that's just me :P

    You have such a strong endurance base with your swimming anyway - I hate rest/recovery mostly because I'm terrified of losing fitness, as I have no endurance activities besides running. It would be amazing to be able to still be able to get in a decent length of swim even during a rest week.

    Hope you're having a great Xmas!

  4. Ooooh - one of these days, can you help me with learning how to tread water without using my hands more efficiently then me just flailing my legs around like I'm about to drowned?

    1. I can teach you how to eggbeater. Not tread water. That's for pansies.

  5. Also shooting for under 4 hours (3:45) for Myrtle Beach. Great training week. Best of luck to you. Keep up the good work.

  6. I still feel there is hope for you and your feelings about recovery weeks. I think maybe we need to have an intense, overnight training session where I will force feed you wine, make you watch Netflix, and then not let you get out of bed until 10am which will be immediately followed by 3 hours on the couch drinking coffee. I have nearly 30 years of experience and am confident I can teach you my ways.