The way my schedule is set up, I run track on Tuesday (8 to 10 miles), rest on Wednesday, then tempo on Thursday (up to 11 miles now and climbing). So far, Thursdays have been hard for me: I get up early to fit the miles in, so I'm tired, and I'm running in heavy early morning humidity. The no-stops-for-water part has been impossible. But this Thursday was a slight improvement: I think I'm headed in the right direction.
Thursday should have been awful: I had to get out of the house very early so I could be at work an hour early for some training, and a late coffee on Wednesday meant I was up all night and only got about three hours of sleep. But something else was different, and in a good way: I wasn't running on totally rested legs. I ran four miles the night before because of the Summer Series two mile race. And instead of making my legs heavy and tired, I was more ready to run. I have always known that I don't run well the day after a rest day: that's why I run even the day before a marathon. So perhaps I need to swap an easy day on my schedule with my Wednesday rest day.
Not that my tempo was perfect. I actually had two small stops - one right at the turnaround point in the 7-mile tempo, but that was just to very quickly tie my shoe, and I waited until the turnaround when I'd be slowing to make a tight U-turn on the levee anyway to minimize the benefit from rest; the other was just mentally giving up. I planned my tempo on the Fly (the park on the river) and the levee so it would be a straight out and back with no temptation to stop at a water fountain. However, I DID pass a fountain: right at the beginning and end of the tempo I passed the fountain on the Fly. At mile 6.15 I stopped for water! And that was just me being a wimp. Of course as soon as I stopped I was kicking myself when I saw how close I was to being entirely finished. I ended up with a 7:12 average, which is the low end of my goal. If I exclude the last mile (assuming I had a speed benefit from my water break) it was a 7:13 average.
Two take-aways from this Thursday's tempo:
- I run fast better if I don't take a rest day first
- I need to plan a route away from tempting fountains
Perhaps it's time to make some schedule and route changes!