Friday, September 05, 2008

Fighting through fatigue

Throughout the week the legs felt heavy, flat and tired. I sort of expected it as I came off a 100-mile week last week, which was followed by 13 on Mon, 17 on Tues, 11 on Wed and 15 yesterday. The runs were doubles with the exception of Wednesday's. Tuesday's workout also included a fartlek run of 12 x 1' hard/easy.

The workout I had planned for the day was 3 x 2-mile tempo at 5:36-5:40 pace with 2' rest in between. After a 3-mile warm-up and a few strides I circled the track hoping that the legs would have some pop in it. When I hit the first mile in 5:31 and the legs feeling okay, I thought to myself that it just might be a good day for the legs. A couple laps later (about 1.5 miles into the tempo) I began questioning myself whether I should be running 3 x 2-mile tempo or 2 x 3-mile tempo. The two workouts may produce the same results, but I was easily convinced that the longer tempo would be more beneficial for marathon training. The 3-mile tempo is not only a tougher workout physically, but also mentally. I'm sure marathoners would agree that mental fitness is as important as physical fitness during marathon training and the actual race. I ended up having a good workout. I ran the 3-mile tempo runs in 16:38 (5:31, 5:33, 5:34) and 16:24 (5:26, 5:31, 5:27), an average pace of 5:33 and 5:28. I'm very satisfied the legs held up after battling fatigue throughout the week.

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