After running my weekday runs last week under a 10 minute pace, and it feeling pretty easy, I’m feeling like I need to start pushing the edges of what’s comfortable with my easy runs. I feel like I have recovered from marathon training and my body is ready to make some more progress even though I’m not training for a race.
And it makes sense that, even though last week I was running in 80 degree weather, sub-10 minute miles felt easy because the entire summer I was basically doing base building without even realizing it. I had consistent workouts for at least 10 weeks before I added in some speedwork and even after I added in speedwork, my easy runs were still very easy feeling. My body felt decreasingly sore after runs during the summer and I can tell my form has improved.
Since I’m not training for a race, it’s a little bit harder to push myself because I don’t have a specific goal in mind for my runs. But now I’m thinking about increasing my weekday non-speedworks to four miles and maybe doing a 10 mile long run every once in a while. I’m hoping to still keep up a faster pace on these runs so I continue to see improvement in my running.
This change also means I need to pay more attention to how I’m recovering and how I’m feeling after runs. It means I might need to take some cutback weeks to keep seeing improvements. And it will mean after 10-12 weeks of working harder, I’ll take a step back and do some base building again (or there might be some life changes that cause this to happen sooner). Either way, I’m excited to start pushing my run for the first time without training for a race. Since I’ve been doing basically back to back race training for so long, I don’t feel like I’ve really seen this much improvement in my pace in such a short amount of time!