Less Is More
After last week’s high mileage (well, high for me), I didn’t run at all for six days. It wasn’t planned, but after this morning’s run, I was glad that I had taken a break.
While my training schedule is pretty ambitious for a novice like me, I decided that I wasn’t going to worry too much if I decided to skip a session. As each session has it’s own purpose, skipping a speed session from one day shouldn’t have any real impact on the next day’s endurance training. But what happens when I skip a whole week of workouts?
Well, today I found out. My last run was last Sunday, a three and a half mile run which ended up being closer to four miles. I’d felt pretty good after that run and was pleased that adding on the extra miles had been easier than expected, but for the next few days I didn’t feel so good.
This may have been down to overdoing the running, but I also had a bit of a dodgy stomach for most of last week, so I’m not sure. Either way, I didn’t feel like running so I took a break.
This morning, the thought of going out and tackling four miles was slightly daunting. I had skipped the workouts that had been designed to get me used to running the three and a half miles, so I wasn’t sure if I could do it. But then again, even doing three miles would be better than doing nothing. So off I went into the Sunday morning drizzle.
It was pretty windy down on the seafront, but the combination of the light drizzle and the spray from the sea felt good as I made my way down towards the Peace Statue. The wind wasn’t as bad as I had thought it would be, other than the fact that I kept having to pull my cap down to stop it from blowing away, so I was able to keep a nice steady pace for the most part.
As I turned and headed to the lagoon, I noticed that the other runners and joggers seemed a lot more smiley than usual. Perhaps it was just me being more aware of other people, but it did seem like there was some kind of unspoken respect going on as one runner after another grinned as they passed – Look at us running in this shitty weather. We must be awesome!
To be fair though, I do like running in the drizzle. There’s something quite refreshing about running in the rain, as long as it’s not pelting down of course. This may or may not have had something to do with what happened next.
As I approached the four mile point, the finish line of my planned route, I realised that I didn’t want to stop. I was having too much fun. So I kept going, all the way down towards the Peace Statue and then back up to my starting point.
I had no idea how far I had run as I had stopped paying attention to my RunKeeper app as I skipped (ok, stumbled) past the puddles, grinning at everyone who passed me.
When I finally decided to stop, I discovered that I had run just over five miles. That’s more than a mile further than I have ever run before. I couldn’t believe it! I even managed to keep my average pace close to my comfort zone of seven minutes per kilometre.
I’m not sure if I would have run faster if I hadn’t taken the week off, but I doubt I would have been able to do five miles. I guess it just goes to show that, sometimes, when it comes to training less really is more.