Today, I went to the track for "track Tuesday" sans Sarah OUAL (but with our friend Rebecca! Please feel free to come if you live in the OC area).
On the schedule was 4x1600m at goal 5k pace, with pretty short rest. It didn't go so well. I think my splits say it all:
6:31 (good), 6:32 (good), 6:43 (WTF), and 6:49 (And I was sprinting this one in).
You know when you're 17 seconds off pace your last 1600m repeat, something is wrong. Also, I was unable to complete the workout on Friday of 10 miles at marathon goal pace.
Why am I sucking so bad?
I can't give you the 100% sure answer, but unless my body physiology has changed in the past 7 days, I think I'm overtraining. In retrospect, it kind of makes sense. I've been extremely ambitious in my training lately. Here's how I managed to kill my legs in the past four weeks:
1) Picked the hardest training plan I could find: I picked a plan for "advanced competitive runners", that looks to peak out around 70 miles per week. As much as I'd like to think that I'm an advanced competitive runner, I'm pretty sure an actual advanced competitive runner would strongly disagree with my ability assessment.
2) Started at week 8 of a 20 week training program: Hah! Base building is for fools. I'll just start at the hard part! Weeks 1-8 are boorrinnggg!
3) 10% rule? Also for fools. I've been running around 30 miles per week for the last year. So clearly a jump to 45-50 miles per week is no problem at all, right?
4) Traveled every other week, and piled workouts during the week on back-to-back days. Rest days? Also for fools!
5) Picked a plan that targets a goal pace 15 miles faster than your current PR. Ok...so I don't think 3:20 is 100% out of reach, given this is my first serious attempt at training for a marathon, but it's a stretch goal. The only time McMillan actually predicts me running under a 3:20 is when I type in a 5 mile or 5k race pace.
6) Tried to lose the lingering holiday weight: I'm embarrassed to admit this one, but a few weeks back, I weighed myself and saw a number I haven't seen in a couple years. I freaked out, and decided carrots were my best friend. Don't worry, I'm not going all ED on y'all, but sometimes I cave to the same pressure of thinking that if I looked more like an elite, I'd run more like one. While this could be true, I'm not sure a huge bump in mileage is the best time to try to drop 5 pounds.
So what's next? How am I going to get my groove back?
I think the first step is to take my easy days either as cross training days or rest days. I miss my bike anyways. This fall, I was able to run decently running about 30 miles a week, and I bet I can still run a decent marathon averaging under 40 MPW. If this doesn't help, I might need to take a few days off or back off the hard days on the training plan. Also, I'll try to eat healthy but with enough calories. I'm hoping if I do these things, my legs will come back on board. Hard to say, bodies are weird.
Have you ever felt overtrained? Am I just being a wimp? How is the best way to build mileage/intensity?
Please share your advice! I'd love to hear it.
(* Edit Btw, I wrote an alternative post last night when I was feeling particularly sad and frustrated. It's more personal than my usual writing, unedited, and I'm not making it a real post bc it's a bit of a downer but if you're interested: Semi-Unpublished Post )