Since my injury training for Boston it’s been a steady and cautious build back from no mans land. I’ll hopefully hit 75ish miles this week and then hit my base target of 80 miles per week next week. I’ve been adding 5 miles a week since the beginning of May and had a plan of sorts on my effort and paces. In the last season pushing paces (7:40 easy down to 7:20) in addition to upping my mileage (from 60 miles/week peak to 90 miles/week) were just too much to add in one go and with the time I gave myself.
This time I’ve been adding 5 miles a week and set out a few wide bands of effort/paces to progress from depending on how my recovery is going. The ranges of paces I’m stating aren’t necessarily a “I’m going to run these paces no matter what” goal, recovery days are slower but it’s more of what effort I tend to associate with these different easy paces.
Phase 1 was in the 7:40 to 8:00 effort range, Phase II in the 7:30 to 7:45 and Phase III 7:20 to 7:35. I started this season forcing myself to not pick up the pace no matter how good I felt for 4 weeks, make sure I could build up the mileage and pay attention to the aches and pains that might be indicators of my injury not being a thing of the past and to my running form. Apart from some early shorter 5 mile runs where it was difficult to gauge effort since I was coming off some weeks without running I was above 7:40 for my overall run paces. The last week of May I had a couple of 7:30 to 7:40 runs in the mix. And that’s been the trend, adding in a couple of days in the faster range but making sure I didn’t go under 7:00 min/mile for more than one or two miles on any run and keeping to my overall pace goals. I’ve been in the 7:30 to 7:45 (excluding days of crazy heat/humidity or when I really needed recovery) for two weeks now and today was my first day when I allowed myself to push the pace and close. And close we did, a couple of miles in the low 6 min/mile range.
I don’t plan to reduce my paces to the 7:20 range quite yet but will start with a few miles at the faster end of my easy effort range once or twice a week. The theory is it’ll get the strength back into the right parts of my feet and legs to support the faster paces. I’ll have to play it by ear for a while and see if I can gradually get my body to adapt, backing off when it starts to squawk of course.