Running quote of the week

“Running isn’t a chore to fit in, but a privilege … I’m not trying to figure out the least I can do to keep up with my goals, but the most I can get away with.” – Jonathan Beverly

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Race, rest and hot chocolate

Today's run (street): 4.2 miles 

I usually rest the day after a race, unless it's a 5K that's held on a Saturday. In that case I might go out the next day for an easy recovery run. Mondays have been my defacto rest days since 2009, when I made the decision stop running 7 days a week. So taking the day off after a Sunday race is perfectly timed with my schedule. I always expect to run faster after a race, because racing primes your leg muscles similar to speed work. In reality, I usually end up with a pace that falls between mediocre and satisfactory.

I once read an article that said you should take one day off for every two miles raced. That means three days rest for a 10K and a full week off for a half. That seems a little too extreme for me. I took three days off after running my half marathons and thought that was the right amount of time. I'll occasionally take two days after the Dirty Sock 10K because that event is especially grueling. Otherwise, one day seems about right.

Before I headed to the city this morning, I got outside for a four mile run. It was 37° and overcast and once again I had hopes of leveraging the fast twitch muscle fiber I'd (supposedly) cultivated at the race. There were no 29 MPH winds to slow me down today. I felt like I was running well, but I ended up closer to mediocrity than satisfaction. I was very surprised to see how long it took me to cover that distance.

 
My next (and probably last) race of the year will be the Hot Chocolate 5K that's held on December 7th. I'll admit that, compared to other years, my 2013 race performance has been sub-par. The best race I ran was the first, the Long Beach Snowflake. If I properly train for speed, the Hot Chocolate could provide some redemption. If not, at least there will be hot chocolate at the end.

2 comments:

  1. Instead of days off corresponding to race distance, I heard it was actually recovery. For example, it took me over three weeks for me to feel somewhat normal and not so sluggish after my marathon.

    Yay for hot chocolate!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That makes a lot of sense. My post race performance dips indicate a need for more recovery. Interestingly, the times when I ran 10K's on consecutive Sundays, I achieved PR's.

      That was probably due to the combination of a light mileage week (that helped recovery) and enough muscle memory from the prior weekend to give me speed.

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